How To Care For A Poinsettia Plant
Here are some tips to keep your poinsettias looking perky and colorful well beyond the holiday season:
- Light - Poinsettias thrive on bright, sunny natural daylight; at least six hours daily is recommended. Placement near a sunny window is ideal.
- Temperature - To prolong the bright color of the bracts, temperatures ideally should not exceed 70 degrees F during the day, or fall below 65 degrees F at night. Be sure to avoid placing the plants near drafts, fluctuating air currents, excess heat and dry air from appliances, fireplaces or ventilating ducts. Chilling injury will occur if poinsettias are exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees F. Frost ensures certain death of the plant!
- Moisture - Poinsettias do best with a moist soil condition, not too wet and not too dry. Water the poinsettia thoroughly when the soil surface feels dry to a light touch. The best indication of a thorough watering is when the water begins to seep through the drain holes at the bottom of the inner pot. Be sure to discard any excess water, as poinsettias left sitting in water may suffer from permanent root-rot damage.
- Fertilization - It is not necessary to fertilize your poinsettias when they are in bloom during the holiday season. However, after 6-8 weeks, a balanced, all-purpose household plant fertilizer mixed one-half strength will help maintain the rich, green foliage color and promote new growth. Repeat once more in another 6-8 weeks.