How to care for Poinsettia

December 13, 2021 3 min read

How to care for Poinsettia

The Poinsettia has become a bit of a festive addition to many homes!

Before we get into the details of how to care for your Christmas Poinsettia, here’s some interesting nuggets of knowledge as to why they've become so popular; after all they have become the highest selling potted plant in the USA. The plant is native to Mexico and Guatemala and cultivated by Mayans and Aztecs who used them to create reddish-purple fabric dye and its sap for medicinal purposes.

The Poinsettia was first associated with Christmas in Mexico in the 1600s by Franciscan priests to decorate nativity scenes. There are also suggestions that they were a Pagan tradition used to brighten mid-winter festivals.

Why Poinsettia? Named after Joel Poinsett the first US ambassador to Mexico who brought them back to the USA in 1827.

However, loads of people find it really hard to keep their Poinsettia healthy, so here’s some tips to keep it’s Christmas colour and cheer for longer.

  • Make sure to wrap up your poinsettia before the journey home as they’re very sensitive to draughts and temperatures below 12 degrees C. Whilst we are used to those chilly winter temperatures in the UK, it’s not its native Mexico and therefore needs a bit of protection to avoid damage
  • Remember to avoid draughts when positioning your plants in your home and find a spot with lots of light. Winter sun shouldn’t burn their leaves so you can safely fill your windowsills with colour
  • Only water your Poinsettia when the soil is noticeably dry and be careful not to overwater your plant. If in doubt, keep the soil on the drier side. But watch out if it’s starting to wilt!
  • Use room temperature water mixed with some 04 Houseplants biostimulant. Dilute as per instructions on the bottle and water them a small amount frequently rather than drenching them – this helps to prevent the roots rotting
  • Poinsettia prefer humid conditions, something we often don’t have in our snug centrally heated homes, so keep your Poinsettias happy by giving them an occasional misting.

After Christmas you can compost your poinsettia plant, cut the leaves to create a cut flower display, or encourage them to bloom again the following year.

Here’s how to keep your Poinsettia for another year:

  • In April you will need to prune your poinsettia to approx. 10cm, and keep it at a temperature of 13 degrees C
  • In May you can repot your plant, and grow it in a cool and light place over the summer, ideally between 15-18 degrees C
  • In the summer, if the temperatures are right, you can move the plant outside
  • Regularly use our Magic Molecules biostimulants with your usual watering to boost the health and resilience of these plants throughout the year
  • Give the poinsettia a final prune in September and think about bringing it back inside as temperatures start to drop again. The leaves will be green
  • To encourage those gorgeous festive blooms, start forcing the plant in October with 12 hours of bright daylight, followed by 12 hours of complete darkness
  • Colour should be visible in November, and they can then be brought out and displayed again for Christmas.

With proper care, combined with our specially formulated biostimulants, you could have some gorgeous festive decorations that bloom year after year.

There seems to be a real love / hate relationship with Poinsettias, some people love them. Are you a fan of Poinsettias at Christmas time? Let us know!

 

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