Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
I need info on the care and maintenance of a Christmas Poinsetta. In the past I have lost them and really wish to keep this one alive to add to my current household of plants.
Rate This FAQ
Poinsettias are native Mexican plants. They love the holiday season because they are short-day plants that require long nights to launch their color change. The colorful bracts of these plants are leaves, not flowers, with the most common bract color being red. The flower buds are the red or green buttons in the center of the bracts that open to a small yellow flower. Healthy poinsettias have dark green leaves below the bracts and foliage all the way to the base. With proper care and attention, your poinsettia can brighten your home for months to come. Consider these tips.
Poinsettias need a minimum of six hours of indirect sunlight each day. Protect the plants from freezing temperatures, especially when transporting them. Place them in a light-filled room away from drafts. They do best in rooms between 55 and 65 F at night and 65 to 70 F during the day. Keep poinsettias away from cooler locations and avoid exposing them to temperatures below 50 F. Water poinsettias when the soil is dry 2 to 3 inches down. The plants are very sensitive to overwatering and will develop root rot quickly if kept too wet. Water the pot thoroughly, letting excess water drain out of the bottom. Apply an all purpose, water-soluble fertilizer once a week to keep plants healthy during the holidays. Once the colorful bracts drop off, reduce watering and fertilization to give the plants a rest period. Trim the poinsettia back so that just a few leaves are left. With proper care, poinsettia bracts can be maintained until about March or April. Once they begin to fall, cut the plant back, leaving about six buds. For the first couple of weeks, the plant will resemble a stick. Water and fertilize as before, and by May it will begin to leaf out again. For an interesting, unusual outdoor plant, poinsettias can be taken outside in the spring when the danger of a freeze is past. Place the plant in a shady location, and it can be enjoyed throughout the summer. To keep the plant small and compact, cut it back about mid-July and early September to stimulate branching. Beginning the first of October, put the plant in complete darkness as soon as the sun sets, allowing a minimum of 14 hours of darkness. A bag can be placed over the plant, or it can be set in a closet throughout the day. By the end of November, it will start to color and you will be able to enjoy it for another season.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I am having frustrations on how to water my tomatoes, some people say every 8-10 days, some every 2. Mine that get hit by sprinklers every 2-3 days at least have small green fruit my other bushes have only little buds and no fruit can you please clarify. Also I have one cherry tomato in a pot should that be watered differently than garden tomatoes?
- I would like to fertilize for weeds, but it has been so hot lately. Is there anything I can do this time of the year to kill weeds in my lawn, and if so, should I use granules or a spray?
- You might be a gardener if...
- How much sunlight do my raspberries need?
- I have just discovered an ant colony in my outdoor herb pot. I noticed soil build up around a couple of the herbs, thyme and rosemary and also soil build up around the drain holes. This pot is 20 inches across and 15 inches deep. How can I get rid of the ants without damaging the herbs or poisoning my family? Thank you.
- I planted 2 plum trees several years ago. The 3rd year I had a huge crop. The next 2 years the leaves had what I think is peach leaf curl or at least that's how it made the leaves look. I sprayed both years with no improvement. This year I've also sprayed but after blossoming, the leafing is very sickly, the leaves done even really form, they just make tiny clusters of pale spikes that look like tiny curled leaves. Is there anything I can so short of digging them out? Can they be saved or I am better off just starting from scratch? How to I make sure what is there doesn't contaminate the new trees? Thanks.
- I planted tomatoes last weekend because it looked like we were going to have warm weather, but yikes! it says it will snow tonight. How can I protect my little tomato plants?
- What is the shelf life of fertilizer? I have some bags that have been stored in an outside shed and wondered whether they can be used or should be discarded.