Tips To Help You Care For Poinsettias

Care For PoinsettiasFew plants bring out holiday cheer quite like poinsettias, and wow, has this plant come a long way from its wild ancestor. With hundreds of varieties available in a wide swath of color and variations, keeping the plant alive and thriving past Christmas is worthwhile.

But, poinsettias can also be fickle plants.

Here are some tips to help you care for poinsettias so they will last well beyond the new year.

  • The more light, the better. The poinsettia to maintain their flowers and leaves, they still need light to complete photosynthesis.
  • Avoid overwatering. Remove any foil or plastic and make sure the pot has drainage holes. A cup or two of water a week is enough.
  • Keep temperatures stable. Poinsettias aren’t too picky about temperatures but those below 40 degrees or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit should be avoided. Placing the plant near a heater or a drafty window isn’t a good idea.
  • Once the poinsettia has dropped its leaves, cut the stems back to 4 to 6 inches high and keep in a sunny location.
  • To prevent it from becoming tall and scraggly, pinch the tips of new growth back to create a much bushier plant with smaller flower bracts while thinning the branches without pinching will produce larger flower bracts.
  • If you want the plant’s bracts* to turn a luscious colorful during the next holiday season, they need their poinsettia to be planted in a spot that stays completely dark for 12 to 14 hours every night starting in October.

*Bracts are a modified leaf or scale, typically small, with a flower or flower cluster in its axil. Bracts are sometimes larger and more brightly colored than the true flower, as in a poinsettia.

Want to learn about other How to Grow Other Christmas Plants? Check it out here.

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