Monday, November 30, 2009

Poinsettia talk at the library tonight

Jim is giving a talk tonight (Mon., Nov. 30) at the King Public Library. He will talk about the poinsettia production from cutting to finshed poinsettia. He will also talk about the different varieties and how to care for a poinsettia at home. It is free and open to the public. You can call the library for more info at 983-3868.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Camellia Sasanquas

Don’t forget about Camellias when you are landscaping. The Camellia Sasanquas bloom in the fall, starting about mid October and blooming till mid December. They also have beautiful dark green foliage year around. They can grow in filtered sun or in full sun. Most varieties of the Camellia Sasanquas also need plenty of room to grow. Most of them will get about 6’-8’ tall and 4’-5’ wide. The make nice screens, or can be planted individually at corners of buildings, chimneys, and at the end of a porch to block the sun and wind. My favorite is the yuletide; it has a petty red flower with a large yellow center. Now is also the best time to plant them. They will start to root out before it gets hot and dry next summer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Healthy Roots

Healthy roots are important to a healthy poinsettia. Without a good fertilizer and watering program, the poinsettias can have poor root structure. Poinsettias are a sensitive plant to root problems from over watering or from high and low pH.
We monitor the poinsettias multiple times a day to see how dry they are. We let them dry nearly to the point of wilting before we water them. Keeping the poinsettias wet all the time produces poor roots. We water them three cycles (about 8 minutes a cycle, thirty minutes apart for a 6½“ poinsettia) every time we water them. Some weeks we might water them 3 times and some weeks we might water them only 1 time. The amount of cloudy vs. sunny weather we have plays a huge role in how much water the need.
We try to keep a check on the pH of the plants once a month also. We use 20-10-20 liquid fertilizer on regular watering and occasionally use a mix of calcium nitrate and potassium nitrate to bring the pH down when it starts to climb. Poinsettia need to have soil between 5.8 to 6.5 pH. High pH can cause iron deficiency. Too much calcium with low pH can cause problems too.
We even pull our plants out of the pots to see how the roots are doing. I wouldn’t do this in a store though. You will make a mess with the soil on the floor, and can break or bruise the poinsettia if you are not careful. Healthy roots come to the outside of the pot, and should be white in color.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's begining to look alot like Christmas

The poinsettias are coloring up now. Most of them will be getting bright by Thanksgiving. I love to watch them as the change. Different varieties change at different times. Some of them are still pretty green right now while others are already showing alot of color. We have been growing them for about 12 weeks now. If you come by, stop in the greenhouse and take a look at the poinsettias.