Poinsettias are a popular holiday plant known for their bright red leaves and star-shaped blossoms, and if taken care of properly, they can last for years.
Poinsettia Plant Care
Caring for poinsettia plants is not difficult, but it does require some attention to keep them looking their best, and so they can be enjoyed year-round.
Here are a few tips on how to care for your poinsettia:
- Place the plant is in a location where it will get plenty of bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day.
- Water your poinsettia when the top inch or two of soil is dry to the touch, making sure not to overwater as this can cause root rot.
- During warmer months, fertilize every four to six weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer. In the winter, you can reduce this to once a month.
- Pruning should be done in the late spring or early summer by snipping off any branches that have become too long and leggy.
- Dead leaves should also be removed at this time.
- Protect your poinsettia from drafts, and extreme temperatures, as these can cause leaf drops and damage to the plant overall.
Don’t overwater – keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. If the soil appears dry, water thoroughly until excess water drains from the pot’s drainage holes. Also, don’t over-prune because it can cause damage to the plant.
The Best Climate
The best climate for a poinsettia is warm but not too hot, with temperatures ranging between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night. It should be placed in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
They prefer indirect sunlight or partial shade and high humidity levels. For optimal growth, keep the poinsettia out of drafts and away from cold windowsills or doorways.
How Long Does a Poinsettia Live?
To keep the poinsettia alive through the spring, all the colored bracts and most of the leaves should be removed from the stems.
With only three leaves left on each of the stems, the poinsettia can be repotted at the end of the spring.
Moving it to fresh soil rich in phosphate fertilizer will help the poinsettia regrowth.
If you keep your poinsettia in an area with bright light and water it regularly, it can last up to 8 months or even more. Proper temperature control is also key to keeping the poinsettia alive and healthy.
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