A colorful and popular plant seen everywhere during the holiday season, Poinsettias are not as hard to care for as you think. Follow the below tips by Phoenix Flowers experts and have this seasonal beauty around for next year’s festivities as well. Also, check out our handy infographic for poinsettia care at the bottom of the page.
Poinsettias are commonly known for their bright red colors, making them the perfect plant for the holidays. However, through plant breeding, you can find poinsettias in several different colors, such as cream, white, salmon, and pink. The leaves of the plant, called bracts, are what give the poinsettia its bright, dramatic look, as the flower is actually quite small and unremarkable.
Where to Place Your Poinsettia Once You Bring it Home
One of the firsts things to think about once you bring your plant home is where you’re going to put it. Poinsettias need indirect bright light, temperature around 65 degrees F, and protection from drafts. Keep them away from direct sunlight near a window or their leaves will burn.
Watering Your Poinsettia
Overwatering poinsettias is one of the biggest mistakes owners make with this plant. To avoid this, place the pot of your poinsettia in a basin filled with just a few inches of water and leave it be for 1 to 2 hours. Remove when the soil is evenly moist and before it gets too soggy. Place the pot back on its tray and discard any water that drains into the tray.
Water your poinsettia every three to five days depending on the humidity levels of your home. The soil should be moist to the touch and allowing it to dry out a bit in between waterings is fine. You’ll know your poinsettia needs water if you see the edges of the leaves starting to curl up.
When the holidays are over, the leaves (bracts) will begin to fall off. There’s no need to discard the whole plant, though. Move your poinsettia to a dark, cool area, reduce waterings so it dries out a little, and wait until spring.
Spring and Summer Care for Your Poinsettia
In the spring, place your poinsettia back into a well-lit, indirect light location. Water it well and trim the stems to six inches. If you want to, now is a great time to repot your plant. When your poinsettia’s new growth has reached 6-10 inches, start pinching the stems back to promote a lush, full look. Continue doing this as needed until late summer.
Getting Your Poinsettia to Rebloom
Getting a poinsettia to rebloom can be tricky but not impossible. Beginning in September, the amount of lighting becomes very important. For blooming to occur, poinsettias need long periods of darkness – at least 12 hours of complete darkness each day. At night, move your plant to a closet and place a box over it to ensure no light gets through during this time. During the day, ample light is still required as well as a daytime temp of 65-70 degrees F.
If you’ve followed these directions, then hopefully, you have fully rebloomed and gorgeous poinsettia for the next holiday season. If not, don’t get discouraged; reblooming this plant takes patience and commitment. Plus, you can always get a gorgeous new poinsettia from your local Phoenix florist.