Why and how do poinsettias change colour? It’s important to note that regardless of the cultivar, there is one trait all Christmas Stars share: the fading of hues.
While you would usually see the poinsettias in red, they come in different colours, and the tinted parts are, in fact, leaves or bracts, not flowers. They are desired by many as they are perfect for getting the vibe of the Christmas season.
Unfortunately, poinsettias are not fated to live long. Even if you somehow get to extend their lifespan, their vibrant tint is bound to lighten nonetheless. However, you don’t need to worry because there is a way to bring that pop of colour back.
What Affects the Color of Poinsettias?
Although the fading of the colours of poinsettia leaves is nothing unusual, the process is not natural. Specific agents can influence how these plants change their colour, and to some extent, these are controllable.
To fully grasp the science behind the gradual shifting of their colours, you must know about photoperiodism. In simple terms, it pertains to the reaction of the plants when exposed or otherwise concealed from sources of illumination.
When there is not enough light, the leaves that are supposed to be tinted in green turn into red instead, however, there are also instances that the shades are lighter, like pink or white, for example.
How to use light to manipulate poinsettia’s colour
If there’s exposure to sunlight, it can make the bracts of poinsettias green, although you might think turning them back to red may be as simple as denying them that illumination. However, that is not the case. Without light, your plants would not be able to absorb energy and will wither.
Since the formation of that pop of colour you desire is encouraged by darkness, the plants still need light, so you balance both. During mornings, give them as much as they need, but completely conceal them during the night.
If you think letting them be would be fine as the sun would not be able to reach your plants in the evening, then you are wrong. Even artificial light can disrupt the process, so you have to hide them in total darkness and even cover them if needed.
Without missing one day, your poinsettias should be detached from any form of light for at least 12 to 14 hours. Remember, skipping once can render all your efforts useless. Start this routine two months before you intend to display the plants elsewhere.
How to turn poinsettia’s colour back
Aside from the technique involving light, there are other things that you can do to bring vibrance back to your poinsettia plants. One of which is pruning. If you want to give the new growths the chance to showcase their colours, then remove the faded ones.
After doing so, you can transplant them in a pot appropriate for its size or do this as soon as they outgrow their previous containers. It is your mission to aid your poinsettias in growing as healthy as possible.
Another factor other than the exposure to light and the overall plant condition is the temperature. Freezing weathers are lethal not only to their colour but also to their life. Keep it steadily warm within the 60 to 70 degrees F range.
What Are the Benefits of Planting Poinsettias and Other Plants in a Mini Greenhouse?
Many benefits come with polytunnel gardening, but most people are hesitant to try because of the initial cost of building or buying a greenhouse. However, mini-greenhouses offer a more affordable solution while providing the same benefits as a regular greenhouse.
You’ll be able to grow beautiful flowers and other crops in it. Other benefits of planting in a mini polytunnel include the following:
Great for starting seeds
A polytunnel is a great place to start seeds before transplanting them to your garden. Greenhouses are perfect for seeds since it provides them with continuous warmth and protection. You don’t need to place them in garages, basements, or mudrooms.
Protect your plants from pests
Pest infestations can be bad for your plants. Deer, rabbits, raccoons, thrips, aphids, mealybugs, and other pests and animals can be persistent and quickly damage your plants. Placing your plants inside a polytunnel and placing screens and traps can protect your plants from these critters.
Extend your plants’ growing season
Extending the growing season is one of the many reasons why gardeners use greenhouses. You’ll be able to grow more and have a wide variety of plants to choose from. With a greenhouse, you can control the growing environment by using heating or cooling systems, grow lamps, fans, and more. You can use polytunnel equipment to create a warmer or colder environment or whatever is suitable for your plants.
The Bottom Line: How Do Poinsettias Change Color?
While there are many answers as to how do poinsettias change colour, light is indeed the main factor. However, that does not mean that you should focus on that aspect alone. Don’t forget to pay attention to the Christmas Star’s need for nutrients as well.