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Question: How to keep the Christmas Star
My poinsettia, kept at home near the window and wet enough to keep the soil moist, is rapidly losing its leaves and bracts. What should I do to make it last a long time? Thanks.
Answer: Christmas star
Ms. Annamaria Tagliabue,
Thank you for contacting us regarding the problem affecting your Christmas star.
These plants belong to the Euphorbiaceae family which includes a large number of species characterized by milky white sap.
Within this species, the sub-breed defined as a Christmas star that has a flowering (actually they are transformed leaves) of color from red to crimson, is of Mexican origin and has a two-year vitality.
They have deciduous leaves or in their optimal climate they lose and the leaves at the beginning of vegetative rest and then reform in the next cycle.
Given the above, the manifestation you reported of rapid leaf fall in this period corresponding to post-flowering is abnormal and one of the main causes is precisely that of the difficult acclimatization or re-acclimatization from the production greenhouse to urban dwellings.
Therefore, to restore the vitality of your plant we recommend the main standards of greenhouse cultivation which are: high lighting, temperatures of 16-18 C ° moderate watering in winter and in any case medium-low in spring-summer (does not tolerate humidity excessive).
Fertilization is equally important just to resume the environmental recovery mentioned earlier.
For this last problem there is an optimal resolution consisting of the fertilizer
How to keep the Christmas star
To avoid that the situation precipitates and that our Christmas stars are always beautiful it would be enough to keep some simple precautions on their cultivation that make the difference. First the temperature is a fundamental aspect in the cultivation of this plant.
This species in fact does not tolerate too low temperatures and therefore we will have to keep them in a room where temperatures never drop below 15 ° C. The problem is actually the sudden changes of cold or the gusts of cold air that arrive when, for example, the doors and windows are opened. In fact, if you find a room in your home that has a temperature above 15 ° C in winter, it is simple, much more difficult to be careful, when you open the doors and windows, that our Christmas star is not in the middle of a stream of cold air.
Keep the plant away from doors and windows and always pay attention when you open to do the cleaning because a cold shot could make your plant lose many leaves. Having said that, one last important thing to check and to always take into consideration are the continuous hours of darkness inside the room.
The Christmas star suffers greatly when the hours of darkness are interrupted by short periods of light and therefore it is better to keep the Christmas star in rooms where at night we do not turn on the light. This interruption of the hours of darkness causes imbalances in the plant and therefore we must pay close attention to this aspect.