Monday, October 8, 2012

Green To Red Christmas Experiment

So I have three poinsettia plants left over from last Christmas. Their hearty red leaves have, at this point, all turned green and they are thriving. I have them in a sunny window and they have grown to become quite beautiful.

But they are green, and they are poinsettias. Shouldn't they be red?

Now that fall has arrived on our doorsteps and the mums are in pots outside, I have been looking at the poinsettias and wondering if their leaves will turn back to a beautiful, deep red in time for St. Nick in December. So I googled this question to see what to do.

Lots of stuff came up, and what I found was that I just may have caught these beauties in time to make it work. The overall solution was this:

In order to get, or force a poinsettia plant to turn red you must eliminate it's light. The flower formation, key to turning the leaves from green to red, is triggered by periods of darkness. During the day the plant needs bright light to absorb energy for color production, but at night they must not receive any bright light for a minimum of 12 hours.

So what do I do? And is it even worth all the trouble? I could just buy new red ones and be done with it, right? Or I could keep them green and just keep them where they are, thriving and see what happens. The curious soul inside me thinks I should experiment with at least two of the three..

I then found this:
"You have to shorten the day light it receives. In high school I worked at a green house and we raised 50,000 plus poinsettias a year. Starting around September place it in the closet around 3 pm and take it out around 7am. This will force the leaves to turn red. Its a lot of work, trust me I know after all the years i worked in the green house I have never bought a poinsettia since."

What would you do bloggers?


Heff said...

Sounds like a pain in the ass to constantly move it.

Throw black plastic over it instead ?

Anonymous said...

Hang them from the underside of your bra, they'll never see the light of day.

Scope said...

I would just buy new ones. Oh, I would think I would like to try the whole "cover/uncover" thing, but due to my work schedule, would totally fail.