How To Care For Poinsettias
It’s that time of year where people start decorating their houses for Christmas, and one of the classic Christmas decorations is … the poinsettia plant. This one simple plant can make a space feel suddenly festive, no batteries not include, nor required. While it typically lasts about 4-6 weeks and is considered fairly low maintenance, it does require a little care to make sure it looks cheery and bright. Here are some things to consider:
Before you buy
Of course, the look of this plant is going to be your first indicator about whether or not you want to purchase it. Look for dense, dark green foliage and completely coloured bract (the red leaves in a red poinsettia); bright yellow/yellow-green buds that aren’t shedding pollen; and soil that is neither drenched nor dry.
But keep in mind a healthy-looking plant can quickly turn by the time you bring it home, if it isn’t kept in the right conditions. For instance, if you buy a potted poinsettia from a grocery store that has placed it front and center when you walk in through the automatic doors, consider what that continual cold Edmonton draft has done to a plant with Mexican roots. Poinsettias should be kept away from vents or drafts and kept away from any temperatures dipping below about 12 degrees.
Where to place
After you have carefully transported your wrapped plant home, place it somewhere warm and full of indirect sunlight that is away from drafts. your entryway is probably not the best place to showcase this beautiful plant. You want to keep the plant at about 20 degrees, which means you also want to avoid placing it close to direct heat sources, like your fireplace.
How to care for a poinsettia
The best way to keep your poinsettia looking merry beyond the holiday season is to water it correctly. Poinsettias, given their Mexican and Central American heritage, like a warm, humid environment, making cold, dry Edmonton less than ideal. If you have a humidifier on your furnace, this can definitely help (the poinsettia, but your skin and sinuses as well!). Otherwise, spritzing your plant with water from a spray bottle daily can help it thrive. Keep your soil slightly dry, but always ensure that it has enough water, or the leaves will begin to fall off. Check your soil every couple of days (every day for mini plants) and make sure you can feel moisture at about your first knuckle. Make sure the roots are well-drained.
Poinsettias are a beautiful way to make your house look more festive this holiday season. Buy a good plant from a reputable source and treat it with Tender Loving Care, and it will fill your home with cheer all season long.