The schedule below provides a basic guideline of key activities for a successful miniature crop (pinched or non-pinched). An ebb and flood water system is recommended as fertilization will cause unacceptable foliar damage. Use of irrigation tubes is prohibitive due to the tight spacing (6 per square foot for non-pinched or 5 per square foot pinched plants). Capillary mats are not encouraged as they stay too wet and encourage stretch.
Fertilizer levels should be maintained at about 200 ppm using a balanced fertilizer appropriate for poinsettias. With frequent watering (2 or 3 times per day depending upon weather), fertilizer is not applied with every irrigation. Clear water will help avoid any salts build up and minimize burn in the event the soil becomes too dry.
Regular application of chemical growth regulator is required to keep plants short (8 inches total). Cycocel® sprays at 1000 ppm should begin approximately one week past “sticking” of the unrooted cutting. For Winter Rose, try to apply all growth regulators in the initial 6 weeks of the crop. Later applications on cultivars like Freedom will reduce bracts to a desirable size. Use Bonzi® as a light drench (.25 ppm) late in the crop only if needed.
Grow under lower light intensities of 3500 foot candles/36,600 lux. Temperatures are like standard poinsettia production, but high light and limited soil moisture retention make it easy to stress plants and cause damage.
If using lights to delay flowering, turn off the lights the number of weeks before sale date, corresponding to the response time of each variety. The small size of these finished plants makes it important to manage crop timing for maximum freshness.
Pinched Plants for Christmas Season Sales:
Non-Pinched Plants for Christmas Season Sales:
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