If you want to keep the kastuba (poinsettia) purchased this year alive into next year, this is what you need to do. Prepare the kastuba for the next Christmas!
Method 1 of 2: Basic Kastuba Care
Step 1. Inspect the mussels for pests (most plants will show no signs of pests while in the greenhouse, but pests will begin to appear after about two weeks of being in the house)
If the plant is attacked by pests, it is better to just throw it away and buy a new one.
Step 2. If you want to keep the chestnuts, spray soapy water a few times over the plants and soil to get rid of most pests
The mealybug is a major pest and can be eradicated by wiping it with a cotton swab dipped in spirit. However, this must be done before the pests spread or become too numerous, otherwise you won't be able to kill them all.
Step 3. Place the chestnut in a cool (not cold) room with curtains to filter incoming sunlight, and reduce watering
The soil should be allowed to dry to the touch before watering again, and water only sparingly. Excessive watering is the main cause of death of indoor plants in winter. At this time, the plant does not grow rapidly and does not absorb as much food as it was in the growing season. So, if you water too much, the water will stagnate and cause problems such as moss, mold, and rotting and yellowing of the leaves. If the night temperature is more than 10 ° C, the plant can be placed outside.
Step 4. Decide what you want the kastuba to look like for Christmas
If you want a small, bushy chestnut, then the entire plant should be cut until it remains about a few inches above the main stem. If you want taller chestnuts, simply cut off the tops of each main branch and let them grow until around July. If you want to make a topiari (a plant that is made into a certain shape), remove all branches, except for the main branch which is the tallest and straightest, and don't cut off the shoots. Just cut off the side shoots for the rest of the season.
Step 5. Don't put the castor in direct sunlight
The scorching heat will scorch the leaves and fall off, and can kill weak plants. Place the chestnut in complete shade, then move it to partial shade for two weeks, then two weeks later into full or partial sun for the rest of the season. This method will help the chestnut to strengthen and get used to the outdoor conditions.
Step 6. Start watering the chestnut regularly
Fertilize on the fifth watering or every two weeks (whichever comes last) with a kastuba or ornamental plant fertilizer. Or if you prefer, use a diluted foliar fertilizer to promote leaf growth (at this stage, all you need is leaf growth, not flowers).
Step 7. About two or three months before Christmas, begin the process of turning the top leaves red (or pink, or whatever color appeared the previous year)
This process can take up to two months or sometimes more, depending on the conditions and the variety of plants you have.
- Switch from nitrogen-based fertilizers to ornamental plant fertilizers with an even composition, or special fertilizers for kastuba, and reduce the dose by half.
- Begin the “long night-short day” routine that is essential for stimulating flower growth: 13 hours in continuous darkness, 11 hours in bright sunlight. Keep the temperature as low as 15 °C at night. Rotate the pot regularly for an even night exposure. Note: the darkness level must be total. Light from a street lamp or even a flash of a passing car is enough to interfere with flower formation.
- Continue this dark routine for about 2 months and during the day place the chestnut in the brightest window in the house. Reduce the dose of fertilizer and don't over-water!
Method 2 of 2: Easy Flowering Kastuba
Step 1. Plant chestnuts outdoors if possible
Depending on the climate in your area, chestnuts tend to thrive better outdoors rather than indoors. So, plant chestnuts outside, in partial shade during the day. If the weather turns too hot and dry, the growth of the chestnut may slow down.
Step 2. Be realistic about the appearance of the kastuba
You won't get a pretty look like the first time you bought it in the store because it's basically a gummy tree. If you want a store-bought look, cut the stems of the chestnut (don't worry, the mother plant can still flower) from late April until the time when the chestnut must be brought inside for it to flower. You can use root hormone, although the chestnut will do well in compost alone (such as compost made from lawn grass clippings).
Step 3. Focus on when you want the chestnut to flower
Determine the time to start stimulating flower growth. This will depend on when you want the chestnut flowers to be in full bloom and how you want to care for them afterwards. If you want the chestnut in full bloom at Thanksgiving, start on October 1. If you want flowers to bloom at Christmas, start from Halloween, which is October 31. You can do this earlier, but you'll need to keep the dark/light setting in order for the chestnuts to flower throughout the season.
Step 4. Place the plant in a dark room, cupboard, or cabinet
Choose a place that is mostly out of light.
Step 5. Use a warm-white solid fluorescent lamp (CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lamp) or a warm-white fluorescent tube
You should use a warm-white variety instead of the usual grow lights because the chestnuts need additional red light. The right lighting and dark/light timing will ensure the plant blooms.
- Also make sure there is enough light. One 26-watt (100-watt equivalent) solid fluorescent lamp will not be sufficient to illuminate two or more chestnuts. Use one 26 watt solid fluorescent lamp for one plant stem and place it about 30-50 cm above it. Make sure you place the lamp on a height-adjustable pole as the chestnut will grow rapidly during flowering.
- A sodium vapor lamp (HPS or High-Pressure Sodium) can also be used. However, be careful with sodium vapor lamps as authorities may suspect you are breeding a prohibited plant species with the same light cycle. Sodium vapor lamps have traits they use to track down law-breaking botanists.
Step 6. Determine the time setting
Adjust the lighting time according to the needs of the kastuba. A good arrangement is to use the bank's standard operating hours, which is 8.00-4.00. DO NOT disturbing plants while the lights are off. While 14 hours in the dark is sufficient, 16 hours in the dark (and 8 hours in warm-white light) will ensure the success rate of flower growth.
Step 7. Check for signs of interest
The first sign of a chestnut starting to flower is a condition often referred to as "rusting". This happens when the top leaves seem to "rust" because the plant thinks autumn has arrived. Leave the chestnut in the light until it fully blooms.
- You can also keep the plants in the nursery all season and only take them out on holidays for display.
- The plants you buy this year will also be useful and make good brooders for cuttings next year. So, take it to the nursery too.
Step 8. Do not expose the plant to more than 10 hours of light a day
Limited light exposure will keep the chestnuts in bloom even after a long period of time has passed. Take care of the plant: water it well, protect it from whiteflies, and expose it to plenty of sun during its day cycle. With care like this, the plant can continue to flower for the next few months.
If the chestnut is still blooming for a very long time, just put it under a light for 24 hours to allow it to grow normally. Maybe you will find some plants still have flowers even into June
- Don't be discouraged if the flowers don't grow as beautiful as you hoped. There's always next year to try.
- Watch for pests and mealybugs.
- Keep the plant away from cold gusts of wind. Do not place the caster near a door that is often opened.
- Herbivorous animals can eat kastuba. So, if you put it outdoors, make sure the animals can't reach it.
- Some experts believe that the chestnut is poisonous to some animals. For safety's sake, keep pets away from the mussels.
- Don't let children play with the kastuba.