Posted: March 15, 2023
At Plantpeddler, we root Poinsettias in OASIS® Growing Media. Oasis is engineered for optimal air space to water holding ratio to promote fast and uniform rooting. The media is completely sterile and provides a consistent cell structure. It is proven to be the most effective media for the rooting of Poinsettias. Due to the unique nature of this propagation media, there are a few important steps we recommend to ensure success in starting your Poinsettia crop.
During the first days of establishment, it is important that you water based on the Oasis needs and not the moisture level of the finish media. Due to the unique cell structure, moisture can be lost rapidly from the foam due to transpiration use by the plant and being wicked into surrounding media. This is true for peat, peat/coir, and especially peat/wood fiber and peat/bark mixes.
The first step in establishment is to transplant the Oasis deep enough so the media lightly covers the top of the foam (reduces evaporation). Immediately after planting follow with multiple irrigations using clear water. The goal is to rehydrate the cutting, saturate the Oasis, and seal the media around the foam. If planting under high light, and/or hot temperatures, it is advisable to mist, syringe and/or shade to help with recovery from transplant shock. Also, raise humidity by wetting down walkways, open space, and under bench areas.
During hot summer days, the Oasis can dry out very quickly, even if the media appears adequately moist. That available moisture in the media is not absorbed by or wicked into the Oasis and corresponding roots. This is where watering based on the moisture in the Oasis comes into play. There are times that you may water 2 or 3 times a day post-plant to ensure the Oasis stays saturated. These are not large volume applications, instead, just enough to keep the Oasis wedge adequately moist (top 2-3 inches of media). As the roots expand out of the Oasis and into the adjoining media, usually 2 to 3 days post-plant, this issue goes away. It is recommended for the first few days to carefully “tug” on a few rooted liners to see if they are anchored into the finish media. You may also want to pull a couple plants to check this moisture availability and root development into the media. Stress due to drying out of the Oasis can set plants back which may cause crop long stunting, uneven branching, and delays in development.
We recommend you begin feeding as soon as root initials are into the media, typically by day 3 to 4 after planting. Normal application rates are in the range of 150 – 250 ppm of an ammoniacal based nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-5-20 or 20-10-20.
Once you are rooting into the adjoining media, plants can be produced under normal production protocols. Monitor with sticky cards and visual inspection for populations of Fungus Gnats and Shore Flies, as larva feeding can be devastating to Poinsettia roots. To ensure you are meeting your desired finish specifications, we recommend using graphical tracking tools.
For additional questions, production protocols, and support, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you finish a beautiful Poinsettia crop. Thank you for your business.