Poinsettia Care: Essential Tips for Caring for Poinsettia Flowers


Poinsettias are beautiful and colorful plants that are commonly associated with the holidays. Contrary to popular myth, they are not poisonous. However, they can be sensitive to certain conditions and require proper care to thrive. In this article, we will explore the history and care of poinsettias, providing you with helpful tips and information.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico, where they were first discovered by Joel Poinsett, the United States ambassador to Mexico. These plants are known for their vibrant colors, with red being the most common. However, they can also come in other colors such as white, pink, and orange. Poinsettias are short-day plants, meaning they need long periods of darkness to bloom. This is why they are often associated with December and the holiday season.

When choosing a poinsettia, it is important to look for a healthy plant. Make sure the leaves are firm and green, and the plant is standing upright. Avoid plants with yellow or drooping leaves, as this may indicate poor health. Additionally, be careful when handling poinsettias as their sap can cause skin irritation.

Poinsettias require specific care to keep them healthy and in full bloom. They prefer temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and thrive in bright, indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to fade. It is also important to provide proper watering and humidity. Poinsettias should be watered daily, but they should not sit in standing water. The soil should be well-drained to prevent root rot.

To encourage your poinsettia to bloom again next year, you can follow a treatment called “short-day treatment.” This involves reducing the amount of light the plant receives each day for a period of time. By following this treatment, you can help your poinsettia develop new buds in time for the next holiday season.

In conclusion, poinsettias are beautiful and colorful plants that require proper care to thrive. By keeping them in the right temperatures, providing proper watering and humidity, and following short-day treatment, you can enjoy their vibrant blooms year after year. Remember to choose a healthy plant, be careful when handling them, and enjoy their beauty during the holiday season and beyond.

How To Care For Your Poinsettia

Poinsettias are beautiful flowering plants that are commonly associated with the holiday season. With the right care and treatment, you can keep your poinsettias looking vibrant and healthy throughout the year. Here are some tips to help you care for your poinsettia:

Choose a healthy plant: When selecting a poinsettia, look for plants with dark green leaves and colorful bracts (the modified leaves that show off the plant’s true colors). Avoid plants with yellowing or drooping leaves.

Provide proper lighting: Poinsettias require a lot of light. Place them in a location where they can receive at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.

Keep them warm: Poinsettias are sensitive to cold temperatures, so keep them away from drafts and cold windows. Ideally, the temperature should be between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 degrees Celsius).

Water them properly: Poinsettias like to be kept moderately moist. Water them thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, but avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot. Ensure good drainage by using a pot with drainage holes.

Avoid dry air: Poinsettias prefer a humid environment, so mist them with water occasionally to increase humidity. Avoid placing them near heating vents or other sources of hot, dry air.

Follow a short-day treatment: To encourage flowering, poinsettias require a period of 12-14 hours of darkness each day for about 8 weeks. Starting around early October, keep your poinsettias in total darkness at night and provide bright light during the day.

Be careful with pets and children: Poinsettias are considered mildly poisonous, so keep them out of reach of pets and children. If ingested, they can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

By following these tips, you can keep your poinsettias healthy and beautiful all year round. For more information, consult gardening publications or seek advice from extension sources. Enjoy the colorful blooms of your poinsettias during the holidays!

Dispelling The Poisonous Poinsettia Myth

There’s a common misconception that poinsettias are highly poisonous. However, this is just a myth that has been perpetuated over the years. While it’s true that poinsettias can be irritating if ingested and can cause mild stomach upset, they are not deadly toxic plants. In fact, the ASPCA lists poinsettias as non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

When it comes to caring for your poinsettias, proper drainage is key. Make sure your poinsettia is planted in a pot with drainage holes to prevent overwatering and promote healthy root growth. Keep the soil slightly moist, but not waterlogged, and avoid standing water in the saucer.

Poinsettias are known for their colorful bracts, which are actually specialized leaves that surround the small yellow flowers in the center. These bracts can be red, white, pink, or even variegated. To ensure your poinsettia blooms for as long as possible, keep it in a location with bright, indirect light for at least six hours a day. Avoid placing it in full sun, as this can cause the bracts to fade.

If you want your poinsettia to rebloom next year with the same vibrant color, follow a short-day treatment. Starting in early October, your poinsettia needs 12-14 hours of darkness each night for about 8 weeks. This mimics the plant’s natural conditions and encourages blooming.

While poinsettias are beautiful and add a festive touch to your home, they do require some care. Here are some tips to keep your poinsettias looking their best:

  • Water your poinsettia plants only when the soil feels dry to the touch, and avoid overwatering.
  • Provide humidity solutions, such as placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier, especially during dry winter months.
  • Avoid exposing your poinsettias to drafts or sudden temperature changes, as they are sensitive to temperature fluctuations.
  • Consider planting your poinsettias outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. They can thrive in well-draining soils with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
  • Keep in mind that poinsettias are tropical plants, so they prefer temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night.
  • Prune your poinsettias after they are done flowering to promote bushier growth. Cut back the stems to about 6 inches (15 cm) above the soil level.
  • Enjoy your poinsettias throughout the holiday season and beyond, as they can continue to add color to your home for several months.

Dispelling the poisonous poinsettia myth is essential for gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike. By understanding the truth about these beautiful flowers, you can confidently care for your poinsettias and enjoy their vibrant blooms without any worries.

Source: UF/IFAS Extension: “Poinsettia Care – How to Take Care of Poinsettia Flowers” (source)

Poinsettia Care Guide

If you want to keep your poinsettia plants alive and thriving, it’s important to provide them with the proper care. With a little bit of wisdom and the right treatment, you can enjoy beautiful poinsettia flowers year after year.

First, it’s important to know that poinsettias are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. They prefer temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so avoid placing them in drafty areas or near heating vents. Poinsettias also require high humidity, so consider placing them on a tray with water or using a humidifier to maintain the proper moisture levels.

In terms of watering, poinsettias should be watered thoroughly when the soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as poinsettias are susceptible to root rot. It’s also important to allow any excess water to drain out of the pot to prevent standing water.

Poinsettias are tropical plants, so they thrive in well-draining soils. It’s a good idea to use a commercial potting mix or a mixture of peat moss and perlite when planting your poinsettias. This will help ensure that the plants receive adequate drainage.

When it comes to lighting, poinsettias prefer bright indirect light. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn. A north-facing window or a spot several feet away from a south or west-facing window is ideal for poinsettias.

To promote the growth of colorful bracts, poinsettias require a strict light regime. Starting in early November, they should be kept in complete darkness for 14-16 hours each day, with bright light during the remaining 8-10 hours. This treatment will help initiate the flowering process and ensure vibrant bract coloration.

It’s also important to protect your poinsettias from cold temperatures. These plants are native to warm climates and are highly sensitive to cold. Avoid exposing them to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can cause leaf drop and damage to the plant.

Finally, it’s worth noting that poinsettias are mildly poisonous, so it’s important to keep them away from children and pets. If ingested, they can cause mild stomach upset. If you have small children or pets in your home, it might be best to consider alternative holiday plants.

By following these care tips, you can keep your poinsettias looking beautiful and thriving throughout the holiday season and beyond. For more information, you can consult gardening books, online sources, or publications from the Extension Service or UF/IFAS. Their expertise will provide additional wisdom for poinsettia care. So don’t wait, start taking care of your poinsettias today!

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.