By Maddy Rohr and Robin Young | PREVIEW Columnists
It is never too early to begin preparing for the Christmas season, starting with the floral symbol of the holidays.
Kansas State University horticulture expert Ward Upham said there is a unique way to rebloom poinsettias saved from last year.
He said that poinsettias are considered “short-day” plants, meaning they require short days and long nights to flower.
“Originally, it was thought that short-day plants needed a short duration of daylight in order to flower,” Upham said. “Now we know that flower formation is actually triggered by long periods of uninterrupted darkness.”
The red and green plant requires 12 hours of complete darkness in 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit for every 24-hour cycle.
Upham recommended placing the plant in a closet or covering it with a cardboard box to ensure uninterrupted darkness.
“If you use a cardboard box, tape all the seams with duct tape to cut off any light,” he said. During the day, poinsettias can be placed in the sunniest part of the house at 65-75 degrees. Exposing the plant to the sun is necessary for energy conversion, which impacts the color of the flowering.
It is recommended to start the dark treatment early, as it takes eight to 11 weeks for the poinsettia to flower. Upham suggested starting in late September or early October. The first six weeks trigger the reblooming process and the remaining time is when the flowers begin developing.
While this can take significant effort and scheduling, Upham said for every night you miss during the first six weeks, add two days to the bloom time. After the buds have set, there is no longer a need for the dark treatment.
Maddy Rohr works for the K-State Research and Extension news service.
At 6 p.m. on Oct. 5, learn to make sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. Look on the CSU Extension Facebook page and the Archuleta County Extension website for more information.
Tour de 4-H
From 4 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 19, the public can learn about the Archuleta County 4-H program and projects. Look on the 4-H Facebook page and Archuleta County Extension Website for more information.
CPR and first aid classes
CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month (February, April, June, August, October and December) from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid, and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 264-5931 to register.
Visit us on the Web at https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/ or like us on Facebook and get more information: https://www.facebook.com/CSUARCHCTY and https://www.facebook.com/ArchuletaCounty4H.