Monday, December 7, 2009

How to care for poinsettias

To make the most of a purchase of a poinsettia for the holidays , begin by choosing a healthy plant. Look for a plant with strong stems and no signs of wilting. The freshest plants will have a tight cluster of yellow flowers in the center of the bract. Protect the plant from temperatures below 50 degrees while transporting home. If necessary, place it in a large shopping bag.

At home, place the plant in bright, indirect light (at least 6 hours a day). Don't put it near a draft, excess heat (like a fireplace or heater) or near heating or a/c vents. Water when the soil begins to dry. It needs moderate water but always pour the excess out that accumulates in the saucer after watering. The roots will rot if kept too wet.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see what you say in January about what to do with these plants after Christmas. For years we have scavenged poinsettas from church after the Epiphany, trying without success to recycle the Christmas beauties for the next year. Last year, instead of planting them in the ground, we left them in pots in our little "sweet spot," the protected bed on the west side near the leaky spigot, where all our sick plants go for intensive care. This is the first year that they survived, though we haven't had the nerve to move them and do the light dance to redness they like.