Friday, August 27, 2010

there's a whole lot of breakin' goin' on.....

The poinsettia crop is moving along beautifully.  Here are a few shots of the plants progress and the branching (breaking) is looking really good!

We are noticing a few white flies popping up, but spraying has begun.  I usually spray every Sunday, until we are within the time limits to apply a systemic insecticide that moves through the plant.  Up until then we spray.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Poinsettia Update: Nip and tuck, aka pinching.

Over the past week, we have pinched most of the poinsettias.  Pinching is the practice of removing the tip of the plant to encourage side branching.  Side branching occurs at the node of the the stem.  The node is the location where a leaf is attached to the stem.

Our goal is to have 5-7 side branches per plant.  Each side branch will develop a flower.  Here are a couple pictures of the poinsettias after tip removal.  Review last blog for comparison.  The pinched poinsettias no longer look as lush as the previous non pinched version, but they will make a much showier plant.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Poinsettia Focus on Growth

In this installment of my poinsettia blog, I will discuss growth characteristics. All of the poinsettias in this montage of images were planted within a couple days of each other. The difference I observe is the south end poinsettias (the hotter end of the greenhouse) are shorter and growing slower than the north end (the cooler part of the greenhouse).

The greenhouse is configured with a side vent and cool cell cooling system on the north wall of the greenhouse and the exhaust fans are on the south end of the greenhouse. To cool the greenhouse, the fans draw outside air from the north side of the greenhouse through the building and exhausts it on the south end. Cooling is enhanced with a wet sump cool cell system. Water is trickled over a cardboard type cell. Outside air moves across the wet cell. As cool moist air picks up greenhouse hot air, the south fans exhausts the hot air from the greenhouse. When outside air humidity is low we can lower the greenhouse temperature 10-15 degrees.

The problem is that the north end is normally cooler than the south end and that is why I am writing this blog edition. The heat has had a dramatic impact on the growth rate of the poinsettias. The first image shows the south end of the greenhouse. If you look close you can see in taller lusher green plants on the north end.

The outside air temperatures have been in the 90's for the past three to four weeks.

The photo monatage shows four pictures moving from south to north. note the difference.

South end: note height & leaves vs back ground 
here is a better example, note the foreground shorter than the back/right side

here is where you can really start seeing the difference

note the leaf expansion from photo three.  These leaves are larger.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Poinsettia Spotlight On: Christmas Season

Here is the third red poinsettia that is being highlighted in this year's offerings.  We have Christmas Season in a 6 inch pot that will be pinched for multi-flowering.

According to Selecta......
The brand new, early-season Christmas
Season series presents a high-quality
look thanks to its large, showy bracts
with thick, long-lasting centers and
thick, sturdy stems. The energy-effi cient
varieties have dark green foliage,
excellent branching, and very good
post-harvest characteristics. These
medium-vigor plants are adaptable to a
wide variety of product forms.

This type of poinsettia will lend itself well to table
sized poinsettias rather than the large, 10-14 inch
containers.  The new varieties are definitely making
more and more decorating options available.  Today,
we can plant vigorous, medium vigorous and shorter growing varieties.