Add Color Indoors With Bromeliads and Poinsettias

Updated on November 9, 2018
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Kenna writes about the care of plants (indoors, outdoors, and in gardens). She wrote an orchid care booklet—a companion piece for workshops.

Bromeliads only flower once—never again. Pups or offshoots are sprouts from the base of the plant. You can cultivate these puppies but it takes patience.

Bromeliads Care

Bromeliads in their native environment cling at the top of mighty trees of the rainforest. There they feed off the sun, air, and water. Rather than in soil, this makes them an air plant. As a houseplant in their containers and with proper care, the brilliant color flower of sharp reds, oranges, and pinks last three to six months.

Bromeliads only flower once—never again. Pups or offshoots are sprouts from the base of the plant. You cultivate these puppies for a new plant but it takes patience. It's best to leave them and let them run the course.

Because bromeliad is an air plant, their vase shape leaves form a natural reservoir for water, which retains the water for the plant’s absorption. Always have a little water in the cups of the leaf bases. Replace the stagnant water once a month. Water the soil once it has completely dried.

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Home Depot

Light is Important

Light is important for bromeliads. Light ensures bromeliads care is excellent. Their colors will last longer with plenty of indirect light. Though, you should avoid direct sunlight, as it will burn the plant.

Bromeliads do not necessarily need to be fertilized. Only in the summer months and if bright light is constantly present. Dark interior conditions require no fertilizer. The strength of the fertilizer should not exceed 1/3 of the recommended dosage. Use fertilizers that dissolve in water.

How to Care for Poinsettias

Poinsettias are not just for the holidays although that is when the majority of them are purchased. Poinsettias as houseplants can keep healthy and beautiful throughout the entire year. Simple attention to selection, placement, and care can help ensure that your poinsettias continue to grow and flourish.

If you live in the subtropics or tropics, you can place them outside and they will truly flourish. They accentuate the yard so nicely.

Poinsettias come in many shades of cream, yellow, white, pink, peach, traditional red and some with variegated bracts (leaves) that are designed with stripes, marbled or spotted with contrasting colors

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How to Keep Poinsettias Alive

Look for poinsettias with thick and stocky stems, deep and intense colors, and leaves that go all the way down the stem.

Make sure to wrap poinsettias during transportation on cold days. Poinsettias drop their leaves when exposed to sudden temperature changes. Make sure during seasonal changes you are aware of how you place your plants.

Keep poinsettias in bright and natural light at least six hours a day.

Avoid fading their color by keeping the afternoon sun from shining directly on the plants.

Protect poinsettias from directly touching cold windows because chill can damage these semi-tropical plants.

Position plants away from drafty doors and heat sources. Colors last longest when temperatures do not exceed 70 degrees during the daytime or fall below 65 degrees at night.


How to Grow Poinsettias

Clip brown faded leaves at the end of the stem.

Water poinsettias when the soil surface feels dry. Stop pouring the water only until that water begins to come out of the drainage holes. Keep soil moist.

Use a very light fertilizer.

Warning Poinsettias do not require fertilizer during the winter.

Tip: Poinsettias come in many shades of cream, yellow, white, pink, peach, traditional red and some with variegated bracts (leaves) that are designed with stripes, marbled or spotted with contrasting colors. Red color poinsettias are still the most popular by far—80 percent.

Bracts (leaves) are commonly mistaken for the flower of the poinsettia. The flower or cyathia is located in the center of several bracts.

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    © 2016 Kenna McHugh


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