Poinsettias are the holiday season’s favorite plant! With joyful, vibrant red leaves, the poinsettia has become synonymous with Holiday cheer. Besides the red variety, over the years, there’s been a rise in pink, yellow, white, and variegated varieties as well. Whichever type you prefer, you’re going to want to keep this plant’s fabulous blooms vibrant and healthy for as long as possible. The experts at Billy Heroman’s Flowers, Baton Rouge’s best florist, have listed the steps you need to follow to ensure this ornamental house plant stays happy. Also, check out and quick infographic guide for easy reminders at the end of this post.
Tips for Poinsettia Shopping
When selecting your poinsettia, look for a stocky plant with thick foliage that is deep green in color. Avoid plants with yellow or dropped leaves. Check the small flowers in the center of the leaves to ensure they are still tightly closed with no trace of yellow pollen. If it’s bitterly cold outside, protect the poinsettia with a blanket or large bag over it as you transport it to your car.
Where to Place Your Poinsettia Plant in Your Home
Look for a well-lit sunny spot, like a southern or eastern-facing window. Poinsettias thrive from plenty of direct sunlight. Just make sure the leaves do not touch a cold windowpane as it could cause it to perish. The poinsettia is a tropical plant and, therefore, hates cold weather. Keep your poinsettia away from cold drafts, in a sunny spot, and at temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F to keep it healthy.
How to Water Your Poinsettia
Water your poinsettia whenever the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. A good way to water is by taking the whole plant, pot and all, and place it in the sink. Soak it thoroughly and then allow about an hour for all of the water to drain out, then put it back in its sunny spot. When using this method to water, be sure to remove the foil wrapping so the plant can drain properly; otherwise, the roots will get soggy leading to root rot.
The Process for Reblooming Your Poinsettia
After the holiday season, your poinsettia will have dropped all of its leaves. When this has happened, prune the stems down to about six inches and keep it in its sunny spot. Once the weather begins to get warmer, around June, you can put the poinsettia outside as long as the temperature doesn’t dip below 65 degrees F. Find a partially shaded area that gets plenty of sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. This is also a good time to repot your plant with fresh soil and begin fertilizing with a half-strength solution every week.
New growth should appear in September, which you’ll want to pinch away about an inch from each stem to ensure a lush-looking plant. When temps drop below 60 in the evening, it’s time to bring the plant back inside. Starting in early October and for the next 8-10 weeks, the poinsettia will require a minimum of 12 hours of complete, uninterrupted darkness for reblooming to occur. A simple way to achieve this is by place a box over the plant, ensuring no light gets through. During the day, maintain its place is a well-lit area.
After this period of darkness, if things have gone well, you will have a fully bloomed poinsettia just in time for the holiday season. If this seems like too much work, don’t sweat it! Just support your local florist and greenhouse and pick up a new poinsettia plant, or two, to enjoy this Christmas season.