Quick Tips on Keeping Your Poinsettias Pretty and Healthy
Picking Out A Poinsettia Plant
When selecting a plant, choose a colorful one with deep green leaves and smaller new colored leaves
below each bloom. The plant will retain its color. The berries in each bloom should be yellow/green
(the color indicates their freshness). When bringing the plant home, make sure it is well protected
from the cold. These plants are very sensitive to cold weather, and can be quickly damaged and frostbitten
by freezing temperatures. It isn't a good idea to leave them in a cold car while shopping. They should
be introduced quickly to a warm environment. A plant affected by the cold will be shriveled and
have blackened leaves.
A Healthy Poinsettia
A poinsettia should be placed near a window that receives 6 - 8 hours of sunlight daily. They prefer
warm temperatures (about 68°), an no exposure to wind or cold air (drafts from a window or doorway).
Keep the soil damp, don't over water. Too much water: the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. Not
enough water: the leaves will wilt and fall off prematurely. Make sure the soil is well drained when
watering. Remove any plastic or foil that may cover the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot.
Fertilize after blooming.
A Permanent Plant
Poinsettias don't have to be tossed after Christmas. They can be enjoyed again next Christmas with
these helpful suggestions:
¤ Trim the plant back in early Spring (about 8 inches). You'll see new growth in a month.
¤ When the outside temperature becomes regularly warm, the plant can be put outside. Just remember,
poinsettias are sensitive to cold; the outside temperature should be at least 70° or warmer. Do
not expose the plant to excess heat; they are sensitive to extreme temperatures either way.
¤ Transplant your poinsettia to a 2 - 4 inch larger pot in the summer. Use plenty of peat moss and
water thoroughly after transplanting.
¤ In order for your poinsettia to bloom for Christmas, the amount of light it receives will need
to be controlled for about 2 months beforehand. The poinsettia will have to be exposed to daily sunlight
for 6-8 hours, and then put into complete darkness for about 14 hours. The temperature must remain between
65° and 70°. Any changes in this routine may delay blooming.
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