Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Caring for your Flower Bin Poinsettia

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Central America. Poinsettias were introduced in the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. The Poinsettia we know today is a result of the significant contributions of Horticulturalist Paul Ecke Jr., whose innovations transformed the poinsettia into the country’s best-selling potted plant. Poinsettias have thin foliage leaves that vary in color from pale to dark green. 

The showy parts of the poinsettia that most people think of as flowers are specialized leaves, called bracts. The actual flowers are tiny yellow clusters found at the very center of the bracts. Poinsettias are available in a wide variety of breathtaking colors from solid red to variegated leaves. 

We also dye a few poinsettias for added color and interest. Our dyes are safe for the plant and people. 

Proper care for your poinsettia begins before you leave the store. If you choose, we will gift wrap your poinsettia in foil and ribbon. We cut a drain hole in the foil on the plants we wrap so your plant will drain properly.  We will carefully bag your poinsettia when it’s cold, to protect it on its way home. Once you get your poinsettia home, unwrap it and place it in a room where it will get bright light, but not direct sunlight.  

Poinsettias don’t like drafts, so keep your plants away heater vents, fireplaces, doors and cold windows. The ideal room temperature should be around 72°F during the day and no cooler than 60°F at night. Water your poinsettia thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch. Poinsettias don’t like to sit in water, so discard any water that may collect in the saucer under the plant. With the proper care, your poinsettia will last through the holiday season and retain its beauty well into the New Year. 

At The Flower Bin, we grow all of our own poinsettias, so you can be assured that the plant you are purchasing is locally grown and of the highest quality.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Start Bulbs now for Spring Color Indoors

Forcing bulbs in winter is a great way to bring a touch of spring into the house, just when you need it. Forcing bulbs is easy to do and now’s the time to get started. You’ll need a container, some potting soil, bulbs, bulb fertilizer and a cool spot to store the bulbs once they’re planted. 

Begin by selecting a container. Tulips and daffodils will grow equally well in clay, ceramic or plastic pots, as long as the pot has drainage. 

Next, choose the bulbs you want to force. Bulbs should be firm and tan to white in color. Be sure to take a label while you’re at it, so you’ll remember the bulb variety. Fill your container about two thirds full of quality potting soil. 

Add Dutch Bulb Food to your potting mix and you’re ready to plant. Position the bulbs close together, but not touching each other. 

Tulips should be placed with the flat side of the bulb toward the edge of the container. This will allow the first leaves to form a nice border around the edge of the pot. 

Fill in enough soil so just the tips are showing. Water the soil, then place the pot in a cool (35°-45°), dark spot such as a spare refrigerator, unheated garage or basement. Spring flowering bulbs require ten to twelve weeks in cold storage in order to bloom. While the bulbs are chilling, they will form roots, so it’s important to water regularly. After the roots have formed, you’ll see the tips begin to grow. Once the bulb tips are about two inches high, remove the container from cold storage and place in a warm room, with bright, indirect sunlight. 

Your bulbs can now be treated as any houseplant; water regularly, feed every two weeks and enjoy your blooms! After blooming, remove the spent flowers, but leave the foliage intact. Bulbs may be planted outside after blooming, once the weather warms up.