Mini Poinsettia Trees
Miniature poinsettia trees offer growers an opportunity to produce a unique form for the upscale florist market without the commitment of space and production time required of standard tree forms. The ideal miniature tree has a total height (including the container) of 18” / 45 cm.
The best cultivars for miniature trees have smaller leaf and bract size. The following varieties work well for miniature trees:
- Winter Rose
- Orange Spice
- Ice Punch
Rooted cuttings should be transplanted the last week of June (wk 26). Use pots no smaller than 5” / 15 cm for plant stability. For increased retail value, terra-cotta pots, clay pots or other non-traditional containers have the greatest appeal.
The first pinch should be done in mid August. Do a fairly soft pinch with leaf removal to encourage strong branching in the upper 5 nodes. The second pinch should be completed by September 15th, bringing each shoot down to about 2 nodes. Shape the plant during this final pinch to create a compact, symmetrical form.
Apply plant growth regulators after the first pinch to prevent stretch on side shoots. Spray treatments of Cycocel® or B-Nine®/Cycocel are effective with these cultivars. After the final pinch, treat these trees much like you would a 4” poinsettia for height control.
The fertilization program for miniature trees is similar to other poinsettia forms. As with the rest of the crop, monitor soil pH and EC’s for optimum nutrition.
Prior to the first pinch, remove the lowest shoots on the stem as they reach 2 – 3” / 5-7 cm in length.
Do not remove any of the shoots near the top of the plant that will contribute to the branch structure after pinching.
Do not remove lower leaves from the miniature tree until October unless leaves become infested with insects, disease or are otherwise damaged. When removing leaves, pinch near the base of the petiole to minimize risk of disease or damage to the main stem. Before sale, remove any leaves that distract from the tree shape and form.
Treat this crop as you would other poinsettias.
Value Add Ideas
To further increase the value of miniature trees, growers should consider several enhancements.
- Upgrade containers to increase interest and value of the finished product. Clay pots should include the saucer. Terra-cotta pots with design or relief details or other decorative features increase interest and value.
- Cover the soil to add drama to the look of these trees.
- Use moss, clean pea-gravel, excelsior packing, etc. as a soil cover.
- Use variegated ivy, flowering Bacopa, Euphorbia or other trailing plants to create a “conservatory” look to these trees.
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