Caring for your Poinsettias
Poinsettias are our ‘go to’ plant for instantly bringing that Christmas spirit into our homes.
To keep your poinsettias looking their best throughout the holiday season (and even beyond), follow these tips:
- Place in bright light, but out of direct sun. Avoid heating vents or cold, drafty areas.
- Keep soil moist but not soggy. The plant will lose its leaves if it gets dry, but will rot if soil is soggy.
- Remove foil wrapper when watering to allow water to drain. Do not let stand in water.
- Poinsettias are most often used indoors, but can be put outdoors as long as temperatures are frost free.
- If you keep the plant past the holiday season, fertilize once a month with a houseplant food according to fertilizer directions.
Poinsettia Fun Facts
Let’s get a little better acquainted with the plant that brings so much Christmas cheer!
- Poinsettias are native to Mexico and grow to 15 feet tall there.
- The poinsettia was named after the man who first brought the plant to the United States in 1828, Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico.
- The red ‘flowers’ are actually showy leaves called ‘bracts’.
- There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today from the traditional red to pink, cream, burgundy, marbled and speckled.
- The plant requires long, completely dark nights (13-14 hours) followed by sunny days for two months in autumn in order to produce those colorful bracts.
- The southern California Ecke family is responsible for hybridizing the original gangly plant to the compact colorful houseplant we know today. The family company produces about 70% of the cuttings used by growers in the United States and they continue to develop new varieties at their historic Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, CA.