Friday, December 5, 2008

Caring For Your Poinsettia

Caring for your poinsettia during the holiday season is as important as caring for your Christmas tree. No, your poinsettia won’t dry up and explode on you, but it will dry up, lose it’s leaves and die if not properly cared for. Here are some helpful tips to keep your poinsettia plant healthy and beautiful through the holiday season.

· Place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Don’t let it get direct sunlight as this will dry out the leaves and they will drop from your plant.

· Poinsettias thrive in temperatures between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

· Water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch. When watering, remove it from the decorative plastic or foil wrap that it’s in to allow for drainage. Poinsettias don’t like being in standing water.

· Do NOT fertilize your plant during the blooming season (which is now). Fertilize after the season, once the flowers have fallen off and none grow back.

· Keep your plant away from cold drafts and high heat. Don’t place near fireplaces or heating vents.

· If outside, keep in mind they don’t like temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They are sensitive to cold, so consider bringing them indoors at night if the temperatures are going to be too low.

If you are going to keep your plant year ‘round, the best poinsettias to buy are those that are not crunched up in plastic wrapping. Poinsettias like to spread out and being crowded in that plastic wrap can affect their future growth. When planting in the ground, make sure it’s in a roomy spot. Poinsettias can get rather large (I once planted one that grew to about 10’ high and was quite bushy).

Most of you are probably under the impression poinsettias are toxic. They really aren’t, but as with any plant it’s best not to let your pet, or your children, ingest them.
Most importantly, enjoy your poinsettia and it’s beautiful red flowers!

Happy Gardening!
Independent Garden Consultant
The Happy Gardener

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have a poinsettia in a pot given to me by a friend who has left our compound in Saudi Arabia. The plant was full of blooms. I have watered it regularly and now it's dropping all its leaves. I have placed it in a partly shaded area so it gets sunlight only half of the day. What can I do to avoid this lovely plant from dying on me?