Perfect Poinsettias: Keeping These Seasonal Favorites At Their Best
One of the most popular houseplants of the winter season, poinsettias are one of the most beautiful Christmas decorations in the home besides the Christmas tree. Although they have a bit of a reputation for being finicky, poinsettias aren't difficult to keep alive with the proper care. Here are some tips and practices for keeping your plants in top condition over the holidays and beyond.
Purchasing Your Poinsettias
Check the soil before buying if at all possible. This tip applies to all plant purchases, but is especially important for poinsettias due to their very specific hydration requirements. The soil shoud not be completely dry or soggy. If it is, it's probably not been taken proper care of at the garden center and most likely will not last long in your home.
Choose a healthy plant. A healthy poinsettia will have bracts that are intact. It the flowers- which are the little yellow buds between the colored bracts, look tight then this poinsettia plant is of excellent quality. Steer away of plants with spots on the bracts.
Ask for your poinsettia to be wrapped in paper before you take it home not in a plastic sleeve. Poinsettias are temperature sensitive and this will protect it from cold drafts. If you skip this the damage will not be apparent initially, but is one of the biggest causes of leaf loss in the next several days.
Explore some of the newer varieties of poinsettias that have a reputation for looking good throughout the season. Pictured above is the lush Winter Rose Poinsettia, one of my favorites!
Keeping Them Warm
Poinsettias are tropical plants. Place them in a location with bright indirect light. Also keep the temperature in your home between 65 and 70 degrees during the day. At night they prefer a slightly lower temperature between 55 and 60 degrees. Other important practices to prevent leaves from dropping off include avoiding drafts and not allowing the leaves to touch a cold window.
Be sure to water your poinsettia whenever the top third of the soil feels dry. Give it a good amount of water without flooding it. Pull off the shiny foil wrapper if your plant came in one. It will prevent the water from draining out. You can put it back on for decorative purposes if you like after a few hours. Waterlogged roots cause leaf dropping and shorten the life of the plant. Using a humidifier or plant mister near your plant is an excellent way to keep it hydrated and your Christmas tree as well.
Consistency Is Key
Give yourself a few written reminders to pay attention to these plant care practices on a regular schedule. The care of poinsettias is a lot simpler than it seems. Happy Holidays and enjoy these festive plants all winter!