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The Basics of Poinsettia Plant Care

This time of year, poinsettias begin appearing in stores everywhere. How often have you purchased a beautiful poinsettia, brought it home to use as a festive centerpiece only to have it droop and loose it’s bloom over the course of several days? Proper care of your plant is necessary to keep it healthy and beautiful, but few people know what is required. Hopefully these tips will help.Although poinsettias are associated with Christmas, they are actually tropical plants. Despite this, poinsettias can last through the Christmas holiday and long after with proper care. Because these plants are grown in warm climates, they must be kept in tropical conditions to remain healthy. Furthermore, poinsettias bloom in response to shortening daylight hours, so these plants will need ample darkness each night to simulate the dark nights of short winter days. This may require you placing your poinsettia in a dark closet for 12-14 hours each night.
During the day, place your plant in a sunny window with access to bright light. The key is, the more light the better. Keep the plant evenly moist. Misting it will help it to retain the humidity that tropical plants require. If you will fill the overflow saucer under your plant with gravel, the plant will avoid sitting in water which will cause it to drown. Hot indoor temperature along with high humidity will keep a poisettia very happy. Decreasing temperatures will cause the leaves to fall off. The goal is to keep your indoor temperature consistent.
After the holidays, many people throw their poinsettias away, but you can cut the plant back and save it for next seaon. Continue to keep the plant moist. To force blooming next year, start reducing the plant’s exposure to sun-light in mid-September to October. This means placing the poinsettia in an area that is in complete darkness. Even street lights or indoor lighting can affect the blooming.
Getting a poinsettia to re-bloom is a bit of work. However, when the holiday season arrives and your plant greets you with clusters of beautiful blooms it is well worth the effort. Happy Holiday Season to Everyone from MTB Heating and Air.

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