Caring For A Poinsettia & Fruit Drop On Persimmon

Question:

Could you tell me what I need to do to keep my Poinsettia plants from dying? They seem to wither away so quickly each year. 

Answer:

  • Poinsettia leaves turn yellow, curl and shrivel quickly because of warm temperatures. You would think that with all the advanced breeding techniques we have today, that this perennial problem would be corrected, but it hasn’t.
  • Poinsettia likes to be kept in a cool room, preferably under seventy degrees and that’s a problem in many homes.
    • They need to be kept away from heater vents, operating fireplaces and drafts, especially inside doorways as the sudden change in temperature causes problems. I’ve successfully displayed Poinsettias on a protected porch were the overnight temperatures were around forty degrees.
    • Also, the flower and leaves of the Poinsettia plant collapse when the plant is excessively wet.
    • They like to be kept uniformly moist. Before displaying them, water them. Now all the plants have the same moisture level. Before watering again, stick your finger down an inch in the soil. If it feels moist to the touch, then skip the watering. After watering, always dump the excess water that collects in the saucer and punches a hole in the decorative foil so the water can drain away. 

Question:

My Persimmon tree has been dropping fruit since July. Although they weren’t ripe at the time, I doubt that the problem is from raccoons or birds. How do I prevent this next year and is the best time to prune Persimmon in the winter months?                     

Answer:

  • You’re correct; this is not a critter problem. Critters, including squirrels and roof rats, would leave apparent signs such as peck marks, or bite marks in the fruits; plus, you’d find debris under the tree from their feedings.
  • Established or mature persimmon trees most likely drop their fruit from a spring application of nitrogen fertilizer and wet soils during the summer from frequent watering. Infrequently, fruit drop can also be caused by changes in temperature.
    • With trees, three-years-old or younger, we see fruit drop when there is a heavy fruit set, as they can’t support the crop. Trees growing in a lawn area can experience both problems as well as, those trees growing in four hours or less of direct sunlight during the growing season.
  • Persimmons can grow to forty feet so they’re not recommended for small yards.  Planting under their canopy is also discouraged. As they’re a water-wise and a drought tolerant tree. Three to four watering is all that is necessary June through October.
  • Persimmons are best fertilized in the late fall or winter. They don’t require much pruning as they’re slow growing. November through February is the usual pruning period.
  • Since it’s not typical to walk under them, the scaffolding branches can be kept lower to the ground. This can mask the bare ground; however, it’s a judgment call on your part. Once the canopy has been formed or established, removing any of the dead wood and shaping is all that is required.