A Poinsettia is not just for Christmas

by robin | 02.12.2014 | christmas , koubachi , plant sensor , poinsettia | 0 comments | Rating: 4 votes




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Top tips for keeping that much loved Christmas plant alive. We've tested a plant sensor and mixed it up with some good old gardening knowledge...

Poinsettias are the ideal indoor plant to brighten up any home over Christmas. However, its brightly coloured bracts (leaves) can be sensitive to some bitterly cold festive weather, and when given as a gift, the plant is often overlooked and left in a dark corner to fend for itself. When this happens, the plant starts to loose its vibrant rosy glow, and gets thrown out with the used wrapping paper and left over sprouts. It is a sad situation, but one that can be changed with just a little love.

If taken care of properly, that much loved Christmas plant can be enjoyed all year, and to say ‘thank you’ it will colour up its leaves and show off its cheerful redness for yet another joyful season.

To make sure this happens, we've teamed up with a young startup from Zurich named Koubachi. They developed a plant sensor that tracks vital information of your plant.  Here are their top tips for keeping poinsettias fit and healthy:

  • Keep it moist – Make sure the plant is watered, but not over watered. A poinsettia does not enjoy swimming in water, and over watering can damage the plant. Wait until the soil starts to dry out slightly and then water.
  • Sunny climates – Now, we all know there is a distinct lack of sunshine over Christmas, but that little bit of sun works wonders for the health of a poinsettia. Make sure the plant is placed in a South, East or West facing window to make sure it is getting its fair share of rays. 
  • Warm cosy environment - Poinsettias are originally grown in tropical climates, and like to be kept in a warm environment. Keep the heating on and make sure room temperature does not fall below 22 degrees Celsius.
  • Humidity – Although the plant likes a warm environment, it can also be damaging for its bright foliage drying it out. Gently mist and spray water on the plant everyday to keep its leaves moist to imitate a humid tropic environment.
  • Trimming it back – To encourage new buds to grow, always cut back the old stems and dead branches. Pruning regularly will help the plant to become bushy and full for the next year.
  • Fertilise regularly – Many people forget to fertilise. This is a shame because indoor plants can only gain nutrients from what is found in their pots and that tends not to be the right goodness they need. Poinsettias should be fertilised using a green plant fertiliser (e.g. N14-P6-K8) every two weeks to maintain the plants health and vitality.

To help with the top tips above, Koubachi’s range of plant sensors have been designed to help gardeners accurately determine the health of plants. We've tested it and loved it. So here's a little marketing text from Koubachi, worth reading: Working with the free iOS and Android compatible Koubachi App, the Indoor and Outdoor plant sensors identify the plant’s needs and send care instructions to the gardener’s smartphone, tablet or computer at the right time to let them know when the plant needs watering, fertilising or more light. Users can also identify hundreds of plant species using the app. Once the plant has been selected, the sensors will monitor soil moisture, air and soil temperature, natural and artificial light for the specific plant, and integrates the weather forecast.

Fun fact: Although we think poinsettias are only available in red, according to the University of Illinois Extension, over 100 colours of the plant are available. Poinsettias can be cultivated in various shades including white, salmon, gold, cream, pink and burgundy.

About Koubachi: Based in Zurich, the Swiss company has been developing the Koubachi Wi-Fi Plant Sensors and compatible apps for gardeners worldwide since 2009. The products provide users with valuable information for the maintenance of plants. The Koubachi App was launched in 2010, with the first Wi-Fi Plant Sensor launched in 2012. Previously part of ETH Zurich, the company now has ten employees.

You can buy the sensors here.



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