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
- How do I get rid of snails and slugs?
- How can I store my fresh garden fruits and vegetables?
- I planted my tomatoes last Thursday, May 22. It was just before all this rain and colder air came in. Now all the plants leaves are turning yellow/cream color, except for the veins are staying green. Some neighbors said they might have had too much water, I have never had tomatoes do this before.
- This is my first year planting carrots. Should I try to germinate them indoors before planting outside? Also, is it too soon to plant them outside?
- I found a spider in my garden among some weeds that matches the description of a black widow except it has three distinct white dots on its back.
- My raspberry bushes are gigantic and are not producing berries. How do I prune them to avoid this? Can they be pruned right now or do I wait for Fall?
- I've been told that broccoli gets worms or flies in it in this area. Is this true, and if so is there a pesticide or other way to prevent these pests?
- I wanted to mail order some flowers to plant. Is the end of October too late to plant flowers?