Poinsettia’s are undoubtedly one of the most popular holiday plants with thousands finding their way home over the month of December. It’s tragic when these Christmas Blooms don’t survive until the New Year so here’s a few tips to keep them fresh and green into 2019
Purchase and Transport
When purchasing a Poinsettia flip the leaves over, ensure consistent green colour with no spots or yellowing. Keep an eye out for insect damage as well. Don’t buy plants wrapped too tightly in paper or plastic sleeves as this stifles the plant and will likely result in major leaf loss once the sleeve has been removed. When you transport it from store to car ensure that the plants are covered or that it’s a short walk to a warm vehicle. Frigid temperatures will shock the living day lights out of a plant that’s been maxing and relaxing in a nice warm store.
One of the biggest mistakes made by people caring for Poinsettia’s is there placement at home. A poinsettia does not need direct sunlight, it does need lots of ambient light. People placing these flowers too close to the window are doing double harm. They won’t do well with the direct sun beams nor with the cool drafts coming from the glass. Equally detrimental to this plant is excessive heat, so keep it off the fireplace mantle or away from the heat vents. They will keep their colour longer if kept at temperatures above 15º and below 22º degrees Celsius. Though Poinsettia’s are not poisonous as it is so often thought they can cause varying degrees of discomfort in the person or pet who consumes them. Thus it is best to keep them out of reach of curious palates. Finally don’t over water them, water only when soil is dry to the touch and discard any water left standing in the saucer beneath them after 10 minutes.
Interesting Fact: Did you know that the red “Flower” of a Poinsettia is not a flower at all but rather a modified leaf called a bract? The small yellow blossom (cyathia) in the centre of the bracts is the true flower of the poinsettia and is not nearly as showy as the bracts which have been bred over time to come in an enormous variety of colours.