Caring for Your Poinsettia

— Written By and last updated by Nancie Mandeville
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poinsettia

Poinsettia: Premier Jingle Bells

The poinsettia is a native of Mexico, that is actually a perennial there. It is definitely not perennial here because of our colder climate. So, it should not surprise us that it needs a little “helping hand” to ensure longer, fuller life in our indoor environments and colder climate.

Here are some tips for handling the beautiful poinsettia that you have just purchased.

  • Protect the plant from cold and wind as you move it to your car and into your home.
  • Do not leave the plant in a parked car during cold weather.
  • Place poinsettias in your home in bright light (but not direct sun). They have been grown in greenhouses at 60-70°F with high humidity and maximum sunlight. The closer your home comes to these conditions, the better results you will have. Ideally, your home would be 70°F during the day, and the temperature would be lowered to 60°F at night.
  • Keep them out of drafts.
  • Do not let the plant completely dry out. Water when the soil surface feels slightly dry, water with 1-2 cups of tepid water, but do not allow water to accumulate in the tray below the plant or inside the foil wrapper. Wait five minutes after watering and then empty any excess water remaining.
  • There is no need to fertilize this plant unless you are planning to keep it for a number of years beyond this holiday season.
  • It is very difficult to reproduce the beautiful plant you have right now. It is best to discard your plant at the end of the season (composting it is a great idea) and buy a fresh plant next season.

Happy Holidays!