Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:36 pm
If you care for your poinsettia properly, you won’t just get something out of it over Christmas. With the right care, it doesn’t have to end up in the trash after Christmas, but can even last for years.
The right care for poinsettias
Poinsettias are usually disposed of after Christmas. This is not only unnecessary, but also unsustainable. With proper care and knowledge of the specifics of the plant, you can enjoy it for several years. To make last year’s poinsettia fit for Christmas, you need to start a special procedure at the end of October / beginning of November.
Often a poinsettia is already transported home incorrectly. Make sure that it does not get drafts and cold, which means: in this case, do not do without the packaging material and have it wrapped in paper in the flower store.
How to care for your poinsettia properly:
- Proper location: find a bright location without too much direct sunlight. Cold and drafts will cause the leaves to fall off. It lasts longest at a room temperature of 18 to 20 degrees. Therefore, the living room is rather unsuitable. Maybe you can find a decorative place in the hallway (without drafts!) or dining room?
- Water properly: Poinsettias do not like waterlogging. If you want to avoid it, you can also dip the plant once a week instead of watering. To do this, submerge the pot in water for a few minutes, lift it out and let it drain. Then you can put it back in the planter.
- Fit for Christmas: To ensure that the poinsettia has red leaves again in time for Christmas, you should put it in complete darkness for twelve hours a day about eight weeks beforehand. It is a short-day plant and will not produce flowers and red leaves until it receives less than 12 hours of light.
- Oversummer: prune the plant by cutting off flowers and bracts. Leave the poinsettia in a bright and warm place, for example on the balcony or in the garden. During oversummer itself, poinsettias only need light, water and some fertilizer once a week. Basically, you should only water when the top layer of soil is dry. This way you simulate the natural living conditions of poinsettias. Starting in October, you should bring the poinsettia back indoors.
- Attention pets: Poinsettias can be poisonous for dogs, cats and co. Therefore, you should keep your pets away from the plant. If you suspect poisoning (vomiting, trembling, convulsions), you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Even before care: buy the right poinsettia
These are the tips you should take to heart when buying:
- Look for the small yellow-green flowers between the colored leaves. On a fresh plant, they are either closed or still about to bloom.
- The denser and greener the leaves, the more likely they are to stay fresh longer.
- Don’t buy poinsettias that are offered outdoors outside the store. These are usually too exposed to the cold and drafts. Poinsettias do not tolerate either well at all. Instead, opt for a plant from inside the flower store.
- Poinsettias are not always red, they can also be white, yellow or pink. The latter are cultivars that have evolved from the original varieties. The occasional plants offered with blue flowers are not true poinsettia cultivars. They were merely sprayed with paint. Since the paint glues the leaves, they are not suitable for perennial keeping.