Tis the season; you’ve purchased a stunning poinsettia and want it to look great for the next 6 weeks at the very least. Here are some helpful tips to keep your plants in good shape.
- Check the soil daily; if the top is dry to touch (or has turned a light tan color); apply water to the soil until it runs freely through the drainage holes. If the plant is in a fancy pot cover you will need to remove it from the cover and set it in your sink. Amounts needed will vary, but base rates are: for a 4” pot, use 6 ounces water, for 6”, use 12 ounces of water and for a 10” pot, use about 24 ounces. Do not let the plant sit in water for more than a few minutes. Wilted plants drop leaves, so it is important to check daily, especially if your house is very warm or the humidity is low.
- Poinsettias are tropical plants and love the sunlight, so try to place in a bright spot that gets direct sunlight. But don’t allow any leaves to touch the window; a cold pane can damage the plant.
- Daytime temperatures of 65-700F are ideal, with a slightly lower nighttime temperature. Try not to keep it in an area lower than 600 The plant will likely survive, but low temperatures or extreme fluctuations will cause premature leaf drop. You will be left with a leggy, leafless plant with a bit of color at the top. Hot or cold drafts can also cause leaf drop.
Note: Poinsettias are not toxic to humans, but the milky sap can be a skin irritant to some. Be sure and wash your hands after touching the plants and do not rub your eyes until after a thorough washing.
It is possible to keep your poinsettia from year to year and to get it to re-flower for the next Christmas, but it is a fairly complicated procedure. Unless you are fascinated with the process it makes much more sense to compost your poinsettia in late January and start with a new plant in November.
Watson’s has grown poinsettias for many years. We have a wide range of colors and sizes to meet your holiday decorating needs.