Cultivars Free-branching vs. restricted-branching Bract color
Cultivars Foliage color Height/vigor Response group (6.5 to 10) Postharvest life/leaf retention Series
Cut Flowers Renaissance Red
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
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
Propagation Cutting tips uncovered 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.
Flowering Control SD plants 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
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
Temperature Maximum temperatures: below 70F night and 90F day. Minimum: 55F anytime.
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
Water Dont allow to wilt, especially during hot sunny days.
Carbon Dioxide Not proven to be beneficial.
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.
Nutrition Phosphorus – 40 ppm Potassium – equal to or 25-50% less than nitrogen
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.
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.
Nutrition – B and Mg Deficiency
Nutrition – Fe Deficiency
Soluble Salts Pourthru dS/m during establishment during growing phase during finishing 1:2 dilution – 0.75 to 1.5 dS/m. Lower EC with dark-leaved cultivars.
Low EC Problems
High pH problems
Media Well-drained, yet retain water. pH 5.8 to 6.3.
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.
Chemical Height Control Cycocel – 1000 to 1500 ppm, occ. phytotoxic B-Nine – rarely used alone – not effective, used as tank mix with Cycocel, ppm B- Nine/ 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
Spacing Maximum space possible. Delayed spacing will increase height. 12 x 12 inches now common for 6 or 6 ½ inch pots
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
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.
Support Rings commonly used for higher quality crops. Support rarely used for mass market crops.
Marketing Periods Pre-Thanksgiving – most rapidly Thanksgiving to Dec. 10 – primary Dec. 10 to Dec. 25
Schedule Cultural StepWeeksDate Prop. cuttings3.5-5mid July Pot cuttings1.5-2late Aug. Pinch plants1.5-2Early/mid Sept. Start SD8-12 Finish mid Nov. – early Dec.
Schedule Select proper response group Use LD or SD to manipulate schedule
Insects Whiteflies Often shipped in with cuttings Fungus gnats Others: Lewis mites, thrips, spider mites, mealybugs, caterpillars
Diseases Stem and root rot Botrytis blight Bacterial stem and leaf rot Powdery mildew Fungal blight and leaf spots Viruses
Physiological Disorders Leaf drop Splitting Leaf distortion Center bud drop
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
Dressing A Poinsettia
Allow them to select a poinsettia
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.
Check Water & Be Careful
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.
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.
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
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
Bow with wooden pick
The ribbon around the pot Select the ribbon color Cut inches of ribbon Diagonally cut the edges of the ribbon Wrap it around the pot and foil to be sure it is long enough
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.
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
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
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!