How to Care for Poinsettias
When it comes to houseplants for Christmas, is there anything more fabulously festive than a gorgeous Poinsettia? With their signature vibrant red or white foliage, it’s easy to see why these gorgeous plants have become synonymous with Christmas, they’re the perfect plant choice to complement your Christmas décor.
So, this week, with December just around the corner and poinsettias in full bloom, we’re bringing you a handy care guide to help you keep these beauties blooming lovely throughout the holiday season.
Poinsettia Care Guide
Keep reading for all the Christmas plant care info you’ll need to keep your poinsettia happy and healthy this December. There will be no bah-humbug vibes in your home this year with this cheerful houseplant in residence.
How often should I water my poinsettia?
Poinsettias like to be kept moist but not soggy. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out in between waterings and don’t let him sit in water as this can cause root rot.
What temperature do poinsettias like?
The ideal temperature for your poinsettias is between 13 and 16 ˚C. They are sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, so make sure you choose a spot out of draughts and away from radiators. He will enjoy a bright spot away from direct sunlight.
Should I mist my poinsettia?
Yes, poinsettias love humidity. Humidity actually extends the flowering time for poinsettias so mist him daily to enjoy the vibrant, colourful display for longer.
Should I Give My Poinsettia Plant Food?
If you are planning to compost your poinsettia after the Christmas celebrations then there is no need to feed it. However, if you’d like to try to keep it alive into the new year, then he will benefit from a monthly feed with a high-potassium fertiliser.
Can you keep a poinsettia plant all year round?
The short answer is yes, you can. Although poinsettias are commonly bought for the festive period and then composted shortly into the new year, they don’t have to be just for Christmas. If you fancy keeping your poinsettia into the new year, follow these tips and you just might have him blooming again in time for next Christmas.
- In April, give him a really good prune; cut him back to about 10cm and keep him at a temperature of about 13˚C.
- Repot him in early May and let him continue to grow over the summer, ideally in a temperature of 15 – 18˚C with lots of light.
- During the summer your plant will be completely green and bushy, the change to the red or white colour that we associate with these plants is stimulated by the shorter days as the seasons change.
- To encourage a good strong colour in time for Christmas, ensure your plant gets a maximum of 12 hours of daylight from September onwards.
- This may mean having to bring them into a dark room after 12 hours of daylight during September.
- Feed him once a month with a potassium-rich fertiliser.
Shop poinsettias at The Little Botanical
Whether you want to make this plant the centrepiece of your Christmas table, brighten up a side table or bring a touch of festive glam to a bedroom, this Christmas beauty will do the job for you. And our Little Botanical poinsettias are beautifully potted in our bespoke ceramics, ready to bring Christmas joy to your home.
Browse our range of poinsettias styled in our stunning ceramics.
Perhaps you’d like to bring some variety to your Christmas plant-scape, in which case take a look at our Poinsettia and Succulent Plant Gang. Available with a red poinsettia, this botanical bundle pairs your poinsettia with a mini and medium succulent. Styled together on a shelf or window sill, this gang makes a gorgeously eye-catching, festive display.
Fun Facts about Poinsettias
The vibrant ‘flowers’ that we all associate with Poinsettias aren’t in fact flowers, they are leaf bracts.
Poinsettias are known as Christmas Stars in many parts of the world thanks to the star shape of their trademark leaf bracts.
Although poinsettias are well known for their vibrant red leaf bracts; they also come in white, burgundy, pink and salmon.
The Aztecs used to use poinsettias to make red dye.
Poinsettias have a whole day dedicated to them; National Poinsettia Day is 12th December.
When grown outdoors in their natural habitat of Mexico and Central America, this plant can grow up to 15 feet tall.
Frequently Asked Questions About Poinsettia Care
Are poinsettias safe for pets?
Sadly not. If a leaf or stem is broken your poinsettia will leak a milky sap which can be an irritant to humans and animals so avoid touching this sap if it occurs.
Why is my poinsettia dropping leaves?
Your poinsettia will lose his leaves if he is exposed to sudden changes in temperature. To avoid this, make sure you place your plant in a spot that has a constant temperature of 13 to 16˚C, away from radiators and out of draughts.
A lack of water may also cause your poinsettia to wilt. Although poinsettias don’t like a lot of water, it’s important not to let them dry out completely. Check his soil regularly and give him a drink when the top layer of soil is dry.
How long will my poinsettia last?
With the right care, your poinsettia will last up to 6 weeks – plenty of time to see you through the Christmas season. However, you can choose to have a go at keeping him alive throughout the year and aim for a fresh bloom of colour for next Christmas. Follow the tips detailed in the care section above if you’d like to have a go and helping your poinsettia to last beyond Christmas.
By now you’re hopefully starting to feel a little bit festive and looking forward to accessorising your home with a gorgeous poinsettia, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be able to keep him happy right up to Christmas and beyond if you wish! Please do get in touch with any other questions you might have about poinsettia care at [email protected]. Until next time lovely plant tribe.