These poinsettia care tips are going to totally change how you view that iconic yet finicky red flower of the holidays! Poinsettias are known for being a bright spot of color during the holiday season, but they tend to die fast (or at least drop all their leaves and act like they’re dying) and most people can’t keep them healthy for the holiday season or even year-round! While you may not be able to have blooms all year, you can follow these poinsettia care instructions to keep yours healthy and maybe even get them to bloom again next year!
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Bright and colorful, poinsettias are the most used flower for Christmas decor. They come in so many colors these days that you can use them even if you decorate with neutrals at Christmas (plus you can get them with glitter too)!
Poinsettia Care Tips
1. Water when top of soil is dry to the touch. Poinsettias don’t need a ton of water, but should be watered regularly. They like moist soil. When the top of the soil is dry to the touch, water well. Be sure to drain any excess water out of the tray underneath your poinsettia. It is very important to keep them watered on a regular basis, but to never leave them sitting in water. If you decide to keep them in foil be sure to make some holes so that the water drains otherwise they might get root rot. Or take them out of the foil to water and put them back in after.
2. Keep away from hot or cold drafts. One of the number one poinsettia care tips is to keep them away from extreme temperatures. If it is too cold or too hot, they can suffer quickly. They also don’t like quick changes in temperatures. Drafts and wind are especially damaging, so while they may look pretty on your front porch, it is actually a bad idea to put poinsettias outdoors in the winter. Use the fake ones outside instead. They are much healthier in a warmer indoor climate if your area gets below 60 degrees during the winter months and holiday season.
3. Keep warm with high humidity. The perfect temperature range for a healthy poinsettia is between 60-72 degrees. They also prefer high humidity. Having more than one plant will help with humidity levels. Placing them on a pebble tray or running a humidifier will help as well. If you live in a humid area of the country this should be easy to manage. Some areas are perfect for keeping them outdoors year round with great temperatures.
4. Do not fertilize unless you are planning on trying to keep them after the holidays are over.
To Keep Your Poinsettia After Christmas (which is not easy but can be done)
Prepare for summer. You’ll want to wait until the bracts fade, then cut the stems back to around 6-8” above the soil line. You’ll continue to water regularly as before, but add a quality fertilizer to the mix about once per month to help keep the roots healthy and thriving.
Place outside once temperatures are steadily above 50 degrees. When you see the temps raising and staying above 50 degrees, you can move this plant outside to stay warm. You’ll want to keep it in indirect light during the early part of the day and direct sunlight during the last half of the day. This can be on a front or back porch depending on which way your home faces. Continue to water regularly. If new growth begins happening, cut back stems to prevent blooms until later in the fall.
In the fall move back indoors. In early to mid-September when temperatures begin to get lower, move your poinsettia back indoors. Continue watering as normal, and make sure it has around 6 hours of direct light each day. Placing the plant near a window helps a lot with this.
Confine to darkness. This is the oddest of the poinsettia care tips to make it bloom for the holidays. Move your plant away from light for 14 hours of the day, then make sure it has 10 hours every day of natural light (through the glass in a window or door). Buds will begin to appear within a few weeks and blooms will appear by early December.
I love poinsettias and have usually been able to keep mine alive through January and February. I hope these poinsettia care tips will help you make your plant last longer!
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