12/19/2006

How to care for your poinsettia


My Aunt sent me these poinsettia plants about a week ago. Then I got caught up with last-minute Christmas shopping and forgot about them, and they started to wilt. It happens to the best of us. But they're back to beautiful now. Yes, you can keep your poinsettia plants looking fresh till Christmas day and beyond. Just follow these few tips.

How often should I water my poinsettia?
The plant needs to stay moist. Check every other day or so, and when the soil starts to dry out, add water until it comes out the drainage hole.

Where should I place my poinsettia?
Like any other plant, your poinsettia needs light, and lots of it. Place near a South, West, or East window for best results. But not too close to the window! Keep in mind that cold drafts or touching a cold window can harm the plant.
My poinsettia is starting to wilt. Help!?!
If you've let the poinsettia dry out, water well and let the pot soak in a tray of water for a few hours, then remove to let the water drain. The plant should recover in about 24 hrs if it didn't reach the point of being crispy.
Five fun poinsettia facts:
1.The plant is native to Mexico and Central America.
2. Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced the poinsettia to the United States while serving as ambassador to Mexico. He was an avid botanist and a citizen of South Carolina.
3. There is no such thing as a naturally blue poinsettia. These are painted. However, plants like the "Monet" variety with splotches of pink/red/white are caused by special genetic mutations that have been propagated by growers.
4. The red "flowers" are actually modified leaves, called bracts. The actual flowers are the tiny yellow structures at the tip of the plant.
5. The poinsettia is in the genus Euphorbia, which also includes the crown of thorns. A common characteristic of this genus is the milky sap that seeps out when you break a leaf.

6 comments:

Heavy Petal said...

Thanks for the great tips, Nelumbo. I'm bad with houseplants, and poinsettias are no exception. Perhaps I'll be able to keep mine alive this year!

Carol said...

Good post on poinsettias. Mine are silk, so I've kept them alive, and "blooming" for several years now!

Leslie said...

One of my challenges in life is to keep the poinsettia my mother-in-law traditionally gives me for Thanksgiving looking good(or at least not embarrassing) until Christmas. I'm supposed to be the plant person and it is always a struggle to keep it looking acceptable. Thanks for the tips! I guess the reality is I don't much like them...maybe I should think of them as 'cut flowers' and not expect them to last...

TGentry said...

Hey there, I'm from South Carolina too. I work at Park Seed and Wayside Gardens and I got a poinsettia from there garden center (they don't sell them in the catalogs). One of our horticulturalists has had his for seven years. I just thought most people throw them away every year.

nanabest said...

Hey
my grandbaby lil Iris chavez was born in december which the poinsettia is the flower for december . So I got a tattoo on back of a poinsettia to represent my lil grandbaby . And just needed to share thats how found this page cause of my grandbaby being born thanks for the tips learend that the yellow lil flower is the flower not the leaves wow I like that thanks again for teaching mr more about the flower . dedicated to lil Iris my grandbaby the lil poinsettia... love nanabest27@yahoo.com

Melvin said...

GReat post ..... thanks for this post
and for tips......

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Melvin
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