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Production of Poinsettias by Paul Thomas Teaching Curriculum Review Summer 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Production of Poinsettias by Paul Thomas Teaching Curriculum Review Summer 2004."— Presentation transcript:


2 Production of Poinsettias by Paul Thomas Teaching Curriculum Review Summer 2004

3 Markets Retail Garden centers Florists Mass markets Farmers markets Tents Mail order/internet

4 Markets Wholesalers Auctions Brokers

5 Potted Flowering Plants Poinsettias$247 million 3% All other species$201 Orchids$106 Chrysanthemums$77 Azaleas$53 Bulbs$52 Easter lilies$37 Roses$30 African violets$20

6 Poinsettias Poinsettia, Christmas flower Euphorbia pulcherrima Euphorbiaceae Native to S. Mexico and N. Guatemala

7 Number one potted flowering plant in the US. Major crop in Europe and Australia, minor elsewhere. Also, hanging basket plant, cut flower, and landscape shrub.

8 Terminology Bracts Transition bracts Cyathia Nectaries Flowers

9 Cultivars Free-branching vs. restricted-branching Bract color

10 Cultivars Foliage color Height/vigor Response group (6.5 to 10) Postharvest life/leaf retention Series


12 Cut Flowers Renaissance Red

13 Propagation Seed only for breeding purposes. Terminal cutting propagation. Purchase cuttings vs. grow your own. Thick (1/4 in. thick), 2-3 in. long cuttings with one mature leaf and several immature leaves. Dont forget about stock plants. LD

14 Propagation Sanitation 75 to 77 o F media Less than 2000 fc light Foam vs. direct stick Rooting hormone (0.1% IBA) Tenting vs. misting

15 Propagation Cutting tips uncovered. 100-150 ppm N weekly, starting 10 days after propagation. PGR may be applied prior to cutting harvest or during propagation. Cuttings ready to plant in 3.5 to 5 weeks.

16 Flowering Control SD plants 11.75 hr critical night length Artificial SD often from 5 pm to 7 am, 14 hrs Sept. 25 natural date of flower initiation Night temps above 70 o F may delay flower initiation, above 75 o F may delay development Continue SD until pollen shows

17 Temperature Propagation75 to 77 o F media After propagation*65 to 68 o F After pinch* 62 to 65 o F End of crop#55 to 60 o F * Use of DIF may determine day temperature * Warm weather often results in higher temps than indicated # Multiple crops often prevents lowing temps

18 Temperature Maximum temperatures: below 70F night and 90F day. Minimum: 55F anytime.

19 Light Maximum light 3500 to 4500 fc for dark leaved cultivars 5000 to 6000 fc for light leaved cultivars Full sun most of the time Shade for 1-2 weeks after planting if high temperature and/or low humidity Specific cultivars may need shading during production or at finish

20 Water Dont allow to wilt, especially during hot sunny days.

21 Carbon Dioxide Not proven to be beneficial.

22 Nutrition Requires overall high rates. Nitrogen (CLF) 225 to 300 ppm N overhead irrigation. 100 to 225 ppm N subirrigation. 25% less for dark-leaved cultivars. Keep ammonium below 30% of N and eliminate the last 3-4 weeks.

23 Nutrition Phosphorus – 40 ppm Potassium – equal to or 25-50% less than nitrogen

24 Nutrition Calcium – low levels cause several problems. Leaf edge burn Bract edge burn Keep media pH 5.5 or higher and spray 200 to 400 ppm calcium chloride starting with first bract color.

25 Nutrition Magnesium - High requirement of 40 to 50 ppm CLF or monthly drenches of 8-16 oz./100 gal. of magnesium sulfate. Boron – Sensitive to toxic and deficiencies. Molybdenum – high requirement of 0.1 ppm CLF or one drench of sodium molybdate.

26 Nutrition – B and Mg Deficiency

27 Nutrition – Fe Deficiency

28 Soluble Salts Pourthru 1.9-2.6 dS/m during establishment 2.8-4.1 during growing phase 1.9-2.7 during finishing 1:2 dilution – 0.75 to 1.5 dS/m. Lower EC with dark-leaved cultivars.

29 Low EC Problems

30 High pH problems

31 Media Well-drained, yet retain water. pH 5.8 to 6.3.

32 Height Control Cultivar Culture or days from pinch to start of short days. Nutrition Dry or wet growers DIF/DROP Chemicals – apply starting approx. 2 weeks after pinch, stop by early Oct. in NC, one last opportunity in early Nov.

33 Chemical Height Control Cycocel – 1000 to 1500 ppm, occ. phytotoxic B-Nine – rarely used alone – not effective, used as tank mix with Cycocel, 750-2500 ppm B- Nine/1000-1500 Cycocel Bonzi – 5-20 ppm spray, 0.5 to 3 ppm drench, only PGR acceptable for late-season control in early Nov. Sumagic – 2-5 ppm spray


35 Spacing Maximum space possible. Delayed spacing will increase height. 12 x 12 inches now common for 6 or 6 ½ inch pots

36 Pinching Pinched vs unpinched plants Plants pinched when roots are visible at the edge of the media, typically 10 to 14 days after potting. Premature or delayed pinching – poor branching Number of shoots = nodes – 1

37 Pinching Soft pinch – apex removed above immature leaf. Hard pinch – apex removed above most recently mature leaf. Soft pinch with leaf removal – remove leaf blades of immature leaves.

38 Support Rings commonly used for higher quality crops. Support rarely used for mass market crops.

39 Marketing Periods Pre-Thanksgiving – most rapidly Thanksgiving to Dec. 10 – primary Dec. 10 to Dec. 25

40 Schedule Cultural StepWeeksDate Prop. cuttings3.5-5mid July Pot cuttings1.5-2late Aug. Pinch plants1.5-2Early/mid Sept. Start SD8-12 Finish13.5-21mid Nov. – early Dec.

41 Schedule Select proper response group Use LD or SD to manipulate schedule

42 Insects Whiteflies Often shipped in with cuttings Fungus gnats Others: Lewis mites, thrips, spider mites, mealybugs, caterpillars

43 Diseases Stem and root rot Botrytis blight Bacterial stem and leaf rot Powdery mildew Fungal blight and leaf spots Viruses

44 Diseases

45 Physiological Disorders Bract necrosis Leaf edge burn Stem breakage Cycocel damage

46 Physiological Disorders Leaf drop Splitting Leaf distortion Center bud drop

47 Postharvest Increase by reducing temperature to 55F last 1-3 weeks. Do not use ammonium or urea after mid-late Oct. Harvest when at least one cyathium shows pollen. Keep storage and shipping as short as possible and temps above 50F. Unpack, unsleeve, and water as soon as possible

48 Dressing A Poinsettia

49 Allow them to select a poinsettia

50 After the selection….. Remove all dead leaves or debris from the top of the pot If soil is moist, do not water- if dry, water it lightly Allow customer to select foil, bow, and ribbon colors Suggest something if they dont know what colors look best together.

51 Check Water & Be Careful

52 Carefully, Cut the foil…. You need 13 inches Be sure to measure it Cut it on the INSIDE Fold 1/4 of the all edge areas to the inside. If you rip the foil or put a hole in it, get another one.

53 Place the poinsettia on the foil Make sure the pot is in the center of the foil Carefully pull up one corner and DO NOT TUCK IT. Tuck the foil between the corners. Fold it gently over the edge of the pot.

54 Foil the edges... Bring the foil up on all sides of the plant BE VERY CAREFUL Crease and turn, crease and turn Lift the leaves, do not smash them against the pot. Be PATIENT

55 Add the bow Select the ribbon color Cut it to length and follow the book directions for a pinch bow. Add the pick Wrap the wire around the wooden part

56 Bow with wooden pick

57 The ribbon around the pot Select the ribbon color Cut 24-25 inches of ribbon Diagonally cut the edges of the ribbon Wrap it around the pot and foil to be sure it is long enough

58 Inserting the Bow Put the pot ribbon on the pot Pull the two ends together Cross the ends at the top between two corners - forms an X Push the bow with pick through the ribbon.

59 Add the care tag Tells them how to care for the poinsettia Contains name of purchaser Advertises the Craig FFA Allows for easy removal of prices

60 Protect the poinsettia Ask when it will be taken home They will not tolerate more than a few hours of chill Sever chill = death in minutes Put a plastic bag with air around the plant

61 SAY THANK YOU! Be sure the thank them for the sale Collect the funds Record the sale and issue a receipt Ask if you can take it out to the car for them Be polite and helpful as if your paycheck depended upon it!

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