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Care of the plant Euphorbia pulcherrima or Poinsettia.

Care of the shrub Euphorbia pulcherrima or Poinsettia

The genus Euphorbia, family Euphorbiaceae, includes 2,000 species of succulents, trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants of cosmopolitan distribution. Some species are: Euphorbia pulcherrima, Euphorbia lambiiEuphorbia piscatoriaEuphorbia regis-jubae, Euphorbia umbellata, Euphorbia cotinifolia, Euphorbia milii, Euphorbia characias,  Euphorbia dendroides, Euphorbia rigida, Euphorbia leucocephala, Euphorbia anachoreta, Euphorbia tithymaloides.

Common names: Poinsettia, Bird-of-paradise flower.

They are semi-perennial little branched shrubs that reach 3 meters (9.84 feet) in height planted in the garden. The leaves are large, lanceolate or ovate, with a slightly serrated margin. The flowers are small but the red, yellow, white or pink bracts that surround them are what make the plant attractive. To flower they need 10 hours of light, 14 hours of darkness and a temperature of 18 ºC (64.4 ºF) at night. They bloom in winter.

Poinsettia is used as indoor and greenhouse plants. In tropical and subtropical climates it's used in the garden to form groups and as isolated specimens.

Euphorbia pulcherrima needs direct sunlight or filtered light exposure. Although it resists occasional frosts down to -1 ºC (30.2 ºF), it's better not to expose it to less than 12 ºC (53.6 ºF). Do not locate near heat sources (stoves, radiators) and avoid drafts.

The soil can be a commercial substrate for indoor plants with 20% compost. Transplant every two years in late summer.

Water moderately throughout the year, waiting for the substrate to dry. Slightly increase watering in the flowering season.

Fertilize in autumn with compost and in spring and summer with mineral fertilizer every 15 days.

Prune intensively after flowering to promote branching.

If the humidity is low, they can be affected by mites and mealybugs.

Bird-of-paradise flower is propagated by cuttings in summer. Be careful with the irritating latex produced by these plants.

Images of the shrub Euphorbia pulcherrima or Poinsettia

Euphorbia pulcherrima
Euphorbia pulcherrima
Euphorbia pulcherrima
Euphorbia pulcherrima
Euphorbia pulcherrima
Euphorbia pulcherrima
Euphorbia pulcherrima