During the holidays season, Poinsettias seem to be almost everywhere. They are the hallmark plant of Christmas and can be found in many homes – but do you really know how to care for poinsettias properly? This article will arm you with all you need to know to keep your poinsettia alive and well long after the jingle bells have stopped ringing..
What Type Of Light Do Poinsettias Need?
Poinsettias do best in a bright location with indirect sunlight. We suggest near a window or anywhere that has a fair amount of natural light. Be careful not to place your poinsettia in full sun as they may burn. Being close to a window can have it’s dangers too. Make sure that you do not place your poinsettia against a glass door or window which can transfer the cold from outside.
What Temperature Should A Poinsettia Be Kept?
Despite being the most popular winter season flowering plant, the poinsettia is considered tropical. Poinsettias do not like the cold! They should be kept in areas where the temperature is between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Moderation is the key..Keeping a poinsettia close to a heater or heating vent can burn or dry your plant out. Be careful not to place your poinsettia near a door or window which creates a draft either.. Even a gust of cold wind can damage your plant. For that reason, make sure when you take your poinsettia home from the store, it is wrapped well in a paper or plastic sleeve and is not left in the unheated car.
How Much Water Does A Poinsettia Need?
With watering a poinsettia, moderation is again the key. Water your plant thoroughly and be sure that all excess water drains out of the pot. If it is a smaller plant, you can move it to the sink – for larger plants a saucer or drip tray is appropriate. We suggest watering a poinsettia directly onto the top of the soil as opposed to pouring water over the leaves and flowers. Many poinsettias are sold with a “hat” or pot cover which is the plastic decorative wrap over the grower’s pot. If you poinsettia is fitted with a pot cover, make sure that water does not collect inside. You do not want the plant to be sitting in standing water. You will want to water your poinsettia again when the soil becomes dry to the touch. You may want to dig down into the soil a bit to make sure it is drying all the way through. Sometimes, just the top layer of soil will dry out due to evaporation, while the soil at the bottom of the pot is still soaked. With experience, you will be able to feel the weight of the plant when you lift it up. Plants that need water tend to be lighter. If you still uncertain of how much and when to water a poinsettia, purchasing a water meter is a great investment. You push the water meter probe down into the soil and it gives you a reading of the moister level in the pot. Water meters can also be used for your other houseplants. Please keep in mind that watering is always a judgment call as all plants have different watering needs based on their location, lighting and temperature.
Are Poinsettias poisonous?
The tales you hear about poinsettias being deadly poisonous are greatly inflated. The milky sap found inside the poinsettia is usually the concern even though it is not seriously toxic. It does contain similar properties to latex, so people with latex allergies should be aware. Poinsettias are not meant for consumption – but if they were eaten by human or animal, there is a good chance that they would cause a mild stomach ache, nausea or diarrhea. You could expect much the same if any other ornamental house plant was eaten.
Follow these instructions and you should have no problems taking care of your poinsettia through the holiday season and beyond. Do you have a question that was not answered here? Feel free to contact us and we would be happy to answer it you.