I love giving and receiving poinsettias as Christmas gifts, but there’s nothing worse than when your present doesn’t even live to see December 25th!! If you’re struggling with how to care for a poinsettia plant, this post is for you!
Poinsettia’s Like it Warm
Poinsettias are a native plant of Mexico, where it is obviously. . . warm all year round. Therefore, keep your poinsettia away from doors and drafty windows. If you go away on vacation, don’t turn the heat down farther than 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius. Poinsettia’s can survive in temperatures as cold as 55 degrees Fahrenheit or 12 degrees Celsius, but it’s best not to keep them constantly at that temperature.
On that note, when you’re purchasing a poinsettia, make sure you get it wrapped and don’t leave it in a cold car while you do other shopping!! It’s best to buy your plant at the end of your trip when your next stop is home.
Need some advice for picking the perfect poinsettia? Read this post!
Let there be Light. . . But Not Too Much Light
Poinsettias like bright, indirect light for at least six hours a day. That means you need to find a spot near a window, but not so close to the window that your plant will get too cold.
Make your Poinsettia plant more festive and turn it into a DIY Christmas Gift with These Decorating Ideas.
How Often do You Water a Poinsettia?
In short, probably less than you think.
Overwatering a poinsettia will cause the leaves to droop or become discoloured. Touch the soil of your plant. If it’s dry to the touch, water the plant until the soil is lightly wet. If there is water collecting at the bottom of the plant, dump it once the water has finished draining.
Whatever you do, do not drown your poinsettia with watery love. Check every 2-3 days to see how your plant is doing, and if the soil is still moist, back away from the watering can.
How Long Can You Keep a Poinsettia Alive?
If you want to keep your poinsettia alive for another season, start watering it less once the flowers have dropped. Keep it outside for the summer in a location that gets indirect sunlight. Finally, bring it back indoors before the first frost. Your poinsettia will not survive any frost!!
Getting it to re-bloom is a task for the most dedicated gardeners. In October, cover the plant so that it receives 13 to 16 hours of darkness a day. If you can keep up the regime, your plant should bloom once again in approximately 40 days.
I don’t recommend trying this unless you are a gardening nerd and really are committed to saving your poinsettia. If you are a beginner, compost your plant instead.
That’s it! Follow these simple tips for a beautiful poinsettia plant that lasts the entire Christmas season. Giving a poinsettia as a gift? Check out this post on how to decorate a plain poinsettia into a beautiful Christmas centrepiece.
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Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.