Some of us are not very good with houseplants. In fact, some of us find keeping a Spider Plant alive a bit of a challenge. I am proud to say, though, that I have a Poinsettia which I have managed to keep alive for nearly 6 years. This is a bit of a miracle because my Poinsettia care consists of watering it when I remember.
Apart from the Christmas tree, there is nothing like a blooming red Poinsettia to add a bit of festive cheer to a room.
There is even a special marketing initiative founded by a coalition of European Poinsettia breeders to protect the interests of this seasonal favourite Stars For Europe (SfE).
Sales of this classic plant continue to grow they say and the white, coral and ‘spattered’ colours are as popular as the red variety in the UK.
If you’ve bought one and are wondering how best to take care of it, here are a few of Stars For Europe’s care guidelines.
Poinsettia care tips
Keep them away from cold and draughts
The most important thing to remember is that Poinsettias HATE cold and draughts so keep away from doors and windows and then they should last until Christmas. After that you could put them out for recycling or if it’s like mine see how many Christmases you can make it last for.
Inspect before buying
Dense foliage and yellow-green flower buds are a sign of freshness. Don’t take any standing in breezy entrance areas.
Keep them in a bright, warm spot (around 20° C)
They can even be close to a radiator, but not in direct sunlight or near draughts – so keep away from open doors and windows.
Don’t over-water them by leaving a pool of water in the bottom of the pot or saucer they’re sitting in. Only water when the soil is almost dry (preferably with lukewarm water).
Know when to add fertilizer
To keep your poinsettia going long after the festive season, do not fertilize during its flowering period. Afterwards, fertilize monthly using conventional nutrients.
Keep them in the dark
To produce colourful leaves for years to come, keep the plant in complete darkness for at least twelve hours per day for several weeks.
Interesting Poinsettia Facts
Poinsettias got their name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the man who introduced them to the US in 1828?
December 12 is Poinsettia Day to commemorate the death of Poinsett on 12 December 1851.
Poinsettias originate from Mexico and have been associated with Christmas since the 16th century.
Poinsettias are not just red! You can get them in cream, pink and vintage apricot.
Poinsettias make great cut flowers. Immerse the stems in hot water for 20 seconds and they’re good to go!
Poinsettias are grown in black-out conditions for days so that they develop their colourful leaves.
I hope you find these poinsettia care tips useful. I’m off to put my Poinsettia in a dark place to see if I can get the leaves to change colour but I think it might be time to buy some new plants to add a bit of colour back to the house.
Do you buy a Christmas Poinsettia?