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Poinsettia Plant Care
Houseplants & Flowers

  


Yes! The holidays are here again. The time of year we start seeing Poinsettia, or Euphorbia Pulcherrima, is about the end of November when the Christmas trees and decorations start going up and people start their holiday shopping.

Poinsettia is most commonly used at Christmas time, at least in the United States. It is a member of the Euphorbia family, a large group of flowering plants, many of them are succulents to varying degrees.

Poinsettia House Plant and Flower Care

Poinsettia Plant
Red Flowers

That tells you something about your beautiful flowering Poinsettia. They are native plants from south of the border and do best with bright lighting, average room temperatures and common sense watering. Do not expose them to the cold as it will quickly damage the leaves and bracts.

For information on re-blooming your Poinsettia keep reading. You will need to begin special care just after you and your Christmas Poinsettia have finished celebrating the holidays!

House plant questions or problems? You can send a house plant question but before you do, please read this information on watering your indoor plants, how to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your house plants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

Poinsettia is not poisonous but I wouldn't recommend tasting or eating one as the sap is very sticky and can cause irritation, even on your skin. For more information see poison.org website but come back when you are finished reading!

Every Christmas season for twenty or more years, I have had hundreds of these lovely "flowers" in my care.They are delicate and fragile and you must use care when handling them. Place them out of high traffic areas and away from places where they might get a cold draft. If you are moving them during cold weather be sure to enclose them in a loose fitting sleeve or plastic bag. Just be careful not to break them.

When shopping for your Poinsettia, be sure the bracts are well colored up. For maximum use of your flowering Christmas Poinsettia, the flower, small and yellow in the center of the bracts, should be unopened. Spider mites, thrips and mealybugs can be a problem on Poinsettia plants so thoroughly inspect for these problems before you make the final purchase.

Red poinsettia flower close up

Unopened Flowers
In Poinsettia Bract

For the longest bloom during the holiday season, keep your Poinsettia in bright, natural light if possible. A good spot in fluorescent light will do also. Morning sun is great but avoid excessively hot window spots. Of course, in December this may not be a problem, depending on where you live. Temperatures should be kept between 55°F and 80°F.

Watering Poinsettia

Poinsettia plants tends to use the most water in the first week or two of being moved to a new location, so watch them a little more carefully at first. The top 1/4" to 1/2" or so of the topsoil should be allowed to dry before you water them. Water thoroughly when you do water but do not allow your Poinsettia to remain in standing water for a long period of time. They will do best if allowed to dry a little but be aware that they will quickly wilt if allowed to dry completely. If this happens, water immediately and poinsettia should recover. Just don't let it happen too often or they will get beyond the point of no return.

Keep Poinsettia surrounded with moist air as much as possible. Place in bright filtered light and keep properly watered, not too dry and not too wet, out of drafts and cold temperatures, not too much to ask! If you do all of this right, you should get a few months enjoyment from your Euphorbia Pulcherrima.

See below for tips on how to re-bloom your poinsettia for the next Christmas season. For really good coloring up of your poinsettia, you will need to control their lighting.

These great holiday plants come in a variety of colors. They are grown in white, cream, pinks and reds, and even some so dark purple they look almost black. Growers also produce marbled and spotted bracts. I think most of us still favor the original red but there are many choices to pick from these days, almost too many...

Poinsettia Plant Care, Red flowers

Poinsettia Flower

Re-Blooming Your Poinsettia

When the holidays are over and your Poinsettia starts to decline, you may want to add it to the compost pile. If you can't bring yourself to toss it or you just enjoy the challenge of growing things, you might want to try re-blooming Euphorbia for the next holiday season.

When the holidays are over and your poinsettia is starting to fade, cut the stems back to just above a leaf node, about 3 to 4 inches high. Place the plant out of the sun, in a brightly lit location, and allow potting soil to dry almost completely between waterings. When new growth starts to appear, you can begin monthly feeding. As a note, never feed or fertilize a potted plant when the soil is dry, always water first, then feed.

Beginning around the end of September you will need to carefully control the light your Poinsettia receives. The plant will need to be kept in total darkness for about 14 hours every night, continuing daily for 8 weeks. You can cover with black plastic and place in a dark area, returning it to its normal location during the day. After the 8 weeks of controlled lighting, return your Poinsettia to its place in bright, indirect light and continue normal care.

White Flowered Poinsettia Gift Plant

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Thanks for visiting and come back soon as plant care information, pictures and more are being added all of the time. I hope that your indoor tropical plants and all of your plants and flowers are happy, green and growing because that is why I started this site PlantAndFlowerInfo.com.

If you have indoor plant questions you can send a plant question or visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo blog for interior plant questions and answers, to post your own comment or questions or share some of your indoor plant wisdom with others. Visit the PlantAndFlowerInfo.com Facebook Page or Google+ Page, also great places to post comments and questions! Thanks again...

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