How to cultivate
These plants love well-lit positions, but not the direct sun, which often makes the foliage irreparably yellow; they are cultivated in a good rich and soft soil, very well drained, utilizing not too capacious containers, as they show a better development in not too big pots.
Watering should be fairly regular throughout the year, avoiding soaking the soil, and waiting for it to dry between one watering and the other.
In summer and winter it is advisable to spray the canopy periodically, so as to increase the humidity environment.
These plants are very afraid of drought, which causes a rapid loss of foliage; they also fear root rot, especially in winter, so let’s avoid leaving the soil moist or soaked in water for long periods of time.
Throughout the year we dissolve in the water of the little fertilizer watering for flowering plants, every 15-20 days.
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Cultivation and flowering needs
In the wild the Christmas stars in the cold season can bear temperatures close to 3-4 ° C, but fear the frost, in apartment prefer temperatures not too high during the winter, which could lead to the deterioration of the plant, so let’s keep our euphorbia pulcherrima in a not too heated area of the house, for example the ideal could be a fairly bright stairwell.
The plants, during the period of the year, characterized by few preys of daily insolation, begin to produce inflorescences formed by small clusters of small green or yellowish flowers, subtended by enormous red bracts; on the market, there are many hybrids and cultivars, with curled bracts, or of white or pinkish colour, or even streaked.
Christmas star – Euphorbia pulcherrima: A short day plant
While most of the flowering plants in our garden begin to produce buds and flowers when the days get longer in late winter or spring, these euphorbias begin to produce inflorescences when the days tend to shorten, between late summer and autumn, and then bloom in winter.
When we buy a euphorbia pulcherrima in bloom from the nurseryman this characteristic does not interest us, because our plant has already been treated in the best way to promote flowering, but if we keep a euphorbia pulcherrima over the years we will find that it will tend not to bloom at all or to do so in a poor way.
To facilitate flowering during the period we want to preserve the plant for a few weeks in an area of the house where it receives a few hours of sunshine a day, including unnatural light, the lamps of the house.
In the nursery the plants are forced into greenhouses with controlled lighting, where they receive only 3-4 hours of light per day; in the house you can try to keep the plant in the light for a few hours and then cover it with a dark bag, until the next day, with a little patience, within a few weeks you will see the first buds, so you can leave the plant exposed to natural light.
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