Poinsettia care tips and advice

The holidays are just around the corner and now is the time to start planning your festive d├ęcor. One of the most popular decorative accessories for homes is the poinsettia. These unique plants are known and loved for their striking red appearance but they are also available in white if preferred. Before you head out to purchase your plant, here are some essential poinsettia care tips to keep in mind.

Lighting needs

Every plant needs light and your poinsettia is no exception. Remember, these plants are from Central America. As such, they require a fair amount of sunlight. For this reason, you should place your plant in a well-lit window so that it can enjoy as much morning sun as possible with afternoon shade. While this is not the only point to consider when it comes to poinsettia care, it is one of the most important. You should also ensure that the plant does not come in contact with the window. The cold temperature of the glass can have a negative effect on the plant.

Watering needs

Just like light, and important part of poinsettia care is proper watering. Check the soil before watering and only water when it is dry. Allow excess water to drain out and do not allow your plant to rest in a tray full of water. Too much water will result in root rot.

The right environment

You also need to ensure that temperatures range from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in order to help your plant thrive. Keep them safe from any drastic temperature changes or the plant could wilt and die. A warm room with regular misting is ideal for recreating the natural tropical environment in which they grow.

Will they rebloom?

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are in terms of poinsettia care, your plant will simply not survive beyond the festive season. It is possible to get your plant to re-bloom a year later but this requires substantial effort. From January until March, you will need to continue watering as perusual. In April, reduce the amount you water and the frequency. In the month of May you can repot your plant and cut back the stems slightly. Place the plant in a well-lit window. In June, place the plant outdoors in a partially shaded area. Water and fertilize as done previously. Pinch back each stem approximately one inch in the month of July and August. As temperatures drop, move the plant indoors and continue watering and fertilizing. In October, you need to keep your plant in complete darkness from 5pm until 8am each day. During the day, place the plant in a sunny window. Continue this process in November. As the month comes to an end, you should see some flower buds forming. Now you can leave the plant in the window because it will bloom. Stop fertilizing in December and enjoy your plant!

While basic poinsettia care is relatively simple, keeping the plant alive throughout the year is no easy task. These plants are relatively inexpensive and readily available. This is why they are so often replaced rather than taking the time to help them bloom year after year.