The signature plant of the Holiday season is beautiful red poinsettias. They start to appear on the market in late November and are still available for purchase through the first week of January. What I have found is that by the third week of December, most people have killed the beautiful plant and when no one is looking, sneak out to the garden store and buy another one. It happens every year, time and time again. I feel so bad for the plant… and always wonder why people have such a hard time with this plant.
Red is the most popular color but in recent years I have seen everything from speckled pink to blue ones. Not too many people know that the color of the poinsettia has an impact on the life of the plant when used as the typical houseplant during the Christmas season. Red is the most durable with white being the most finickiest with pink right in the middle. If you want a poinsettia to last for 6 weeks inside your home, go with red.
Learn some helpful hints on how to take care of your poinsettias so they will last a wee bit longer.
How to Keep Your Poinsettias Alive This Year
1. Poinsettias do not like to be watered from the top down. They prefer to be watered by being placed in a basin of water with at least 2″ of water in it. Let the plant soak the water up from the bottom for at least 2 hours. This is the best way to water the plant every 2-3 days depending on how dry your home is.
2. While the plant is soaking up water, this is the best time to remove any damaged leaves and debris on the soil level.
3. Make sure the soil is moist to the touch, but never allow it to become soggy or completely dry out. If the plant’s petals start to curl up, get that plant in water pronto
4. Display the poinsettia in a bright part of your home, but NOT in direct sunlight. Don’t forget that the large leafy petals (not really leaves) are sensitive to burning, especially from a window.
5. Keep your poinsettia plants away from all heat sources, especially heat vents. The best temperature in your home for poinsettias is between 60-70 degrees. Poinsettias will not tolerate hot air blowing on them (so keep Aunt Edna away) as start to wilt quickly from the result of heat exposure.
6. While the poinsettia is blooming – when the bracts are showing their color like red, pink, or white – do not give it fertilizer. This will stop the poinsettia from turning into the beautiful colors you enjoy and will stay a bright green.
7. Poinsettias are not poisonous – but the milky substance from their leaves can cause skin irritation. If you get this on you, wash your hands thoroughly right away. Keep your hands away from your face.
8. Want to make your Poinsettias sparkle? Spray a little glitter on the leaves. It is quite pretty!
More Winter Gardening Tips
Kristi Trimmer is currently running half marathons across the U.S. and blogging about her journey. At the beginning of 2012 she couldn’t run across the parking lot and in 2013 she ran 10 half marathons. Follow her journey on DragonflyRunning.com as she shares her running adventures and helps to motivate others to make positive life changes that include eating healthy and having fitness be a part of the lives and not a dirty little word.