A new pixie poinsettia, named Amy after the daughter of President and Mrs. Carter, will be on the market this Christmas season. Plants will not be plentiful but some should be available in most areas.
It is a low-temperature and long-lasting variety; tends to be shorter and bushier rather than tall; produces many branches, making more flowers per plant and giving it a bouquet form; and it is attractive, "with the charm of a child," that lends itseif to the Pixic-form (multiflowered poinsettia under 12 inches growing in a 4-inche pot.)
According to Paul Ecke St., who is introducing the poinsettia, it was named Amy in recognition of the President's conservation efforts, and as a tribute to "our nation's children, who, like Amy and her generation, will require all the encouragement to face the challenge and impact of conservation."
Technically, it is the "Gutbier V-10," hybridized by Gregor Gutbier of Linz, Germany.
During the 1950s, poinsettia pioneer Paul Ecke St. began touring Europe with his wife. He donated poinsettia plants to many European growers, who in turn distributed these improved American strains to smaller growers.
European horticulturists started to include poinsettias in their hybridizing projects. Gregor Gutbier first displayed his V-10 at the Flower Show in Manheim, Germany, in October, 1975. It attracted much attention and he was convinced he finally he had a hybrid of significant commerical value.
Gutbier contacted Eckeas the most respected manin the poinsettia industry. Ecke, 82, flew to Germany in early 1976 to see Gutbier's hybrid. He was so impressed that he negotiated right there in the greenhouse with a handshake.
This year the Gutbier V-10(Amy) is being comercially tested by more than 500 growers in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Accoring to Paul Ecke Jr., of the Paul Ecke Poinsettia Ranch, there is considerable enthusiasm about the V-10 among growers, especially regarding its fuel-saving potential, and its attractive bouquet-form.
When you buy any variety of poinsettia for Christmas, says Paul Ecke Jr., it should be watered and placed in a lighted area immediately.
Some plants may need watering daily, others not so often. Water thoroughly when the soil feels dry, and discard water that collects in the saucer. Poinsettias cannot stand wet feet.
Light is the most important factor. Full daylight is best, but not direct sun. Poinsettias like low 70s daytime and low 60s at night. Avoid drafts or sudden temperature changes.Keep the plant away from hot radiators and the television set.
Poinsettias are naturally red. However, they mutate to pink, white and marbled. Red is still the most popular Christmas color.
Those bright, colorful petals on the Poinsettia aren't really petals at all. They're actually leaves at the top of the plant that turn color and are called bracts.The real flowers are the clusters of yellow and green buttons in the center of the bract.