How to Care for Your Poinsettia

Poinsettia -  Eugene, OregonThe vibrant red that poinsettias display (they also come in other shades including orange, cream, pink, even purple) have made them a popular plant around the Christmas season. But how do you care for this lovely plant? Here are some tips to help you get your poinsettia to last.

Temperature:

Poinsettias are tropical plants, so they don’t like the cold. During the day, be sure to keep it in a room that’s between 65 to 75 degrees, and at night, if possible, keep it in a room that’s a little cooler (55 to 60 degrees.) Poinsettias also don’t do well with sudden changes in temperature, so keep it away from the door so it doesn’t feel the draft, and if you keep it by the window, don’t allow the leaves to touch the glass. Sudden temperature changes will cause the poinsettia to drop it’s leaves. Poinsettias also like humidity, so if your plant’s leaves start looking a little crinkly around the edges, you can mist it.

Light:

Poinsettias love light, so make sure it gets as much as possible throughout the day.  dec 007

Watering:

Wait until the surface soil is dry to the touch and then water your poinsettia, allowing enough water so that it runs out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Poinsettias prefer moist soil rather than sitting in water, so it is important that you allow the excess water to drain out after watering. Once a poinsettia starts to droop it will soon begin to drop it’s leaves, so it is important to check the soil frequently.

There is no need to fertilize your poinsettia plant during the Christmas season.

Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous to people or animals, but they are a delicate plant and their stems break easily, so be sure to keep them where a curious pet or child cannot reach them.

If you keep an eye on your poinsettia, it should last just fine throughout the season. In a few weeks I’ll let you know how to care for your poinsettia after the Christmas season.

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