Monday, December 5, 2016

Pamper Your Poinsettias! by Donna Duffy

Photo CSU Co-Horts
Many of us will adorn our homes with poinsettias this holiday season. You’ll have several colors (pink, white, variegated, even hand painted) to choose from in addition to the traditional deep red. Regardless of color, look for dark green foliage, and richly colored bracts (the modified, colorful leaves). Poinsettias are tender plants, and will drop their leaves very quickly if chilled. Be sure to protect the plant with a plastic sleeve as you leave the store or nursery.
Follow these tips to keep your poinsettia healthy and colorful.

Light: Find a location with very bright, indirect light. Don’t put it in a hot, sunny window.

Water: Apply water thoroughly whenever the pot feels light, or the soil is dry to the touch. If the leaves are wilting, water immediately. If your plant came in a basket, discard any standing water. If it is wrapped in foil, cut a hole in the bottom and put a saucer under the pot.

Fertilizer: Use an all-purpose indoor plant fertilizer until the poinsettia is in full color, then cut back and fertilize at ½ strength every third or fourth watering.

Temperature: Poinsettias don’t like cold, but they will appreciate a cool room (60-70°). Avoid hot or cold drafts from heaters, fans, fireplaces or ventilating ducts.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Central America. They came to the U.S. by way of our first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Robert Poinsett in 1825. Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not poisonous. Even so, they should be kept out of reach of pets and small children.

For more information check this Poinsettia Fact Sheet.