We have begun growing our famous crop of home-grown poinsettias for 2013. 18.000+ plants. Here is a timeline of the ins and out of poinsettias.
First, the entire greenhouse is emptied of all spring annuals. the tables are scrubbed down with clear water (a wet, but very cooling experience), and the greenhouse shut up tight and the heat turned on to kill any bad germs.
A few days later we fill all the pots with dirt and put them on the table. Some tables get more pots then others. We already know what varieties will be planted on what tables, so pots are placed accordingly.
When the poinsettias arrive they are about 2-3″ high in a plug of dirt. The planters always pray for a cool day when planting day arrives. This year it was cool. And the team got all 18,000+ planted before lunch. Yay!
Then they sit. They get watered. They get some TLC. We let them begin to settle in before we go in for the kill. About two weeks after the poinsettias are planted the lucky, chosen team members go in and spend a long (and hot) day giving them a “haircut” or snipping them back. By snipping the poinsettias back we are helping promote more brackets to develop. It’s hot, sticky work.
After all the poinsettias are snipped back we spend a few days misting inside the greenhouse with water to make humidity. We spray the empty tables, and the cement. It’s like the deep South in summer for a few days in there. But the poinsettias love it.
In a few days we will move some of the crop to the back greenhouse. Then we can space all the plants evenly so they grow big, and beautiful.