How to Care for Poinsettias
Hard to believe but December is here. We’ve been out of the garden for over a month now and I have to say, I’m definitely missing it. I have brought some instant colour into the house though. The most popular indoor, winter plant, my poinsettia is sitting happily on the kitchen table.
In choosing your poinsettia, know that your choices are not limited. Not that long ago, the choices were red and…red. Thanks to science and some very devoted botanists, you have more choice than ever. I’m talking pink, white, cream, variegated white and red or pink and red. I know what you’re thinking though: what about blue?
Oh! Aren’t you in luck!
Getting your plant home. Poinsettias may be popular in the winter but they cannot stand freezing temperatures. In the walk from the store to the car, be sure to wrap your plant in paper or a plastic bag. A good store will provide you with cold protection, no questions asked.
Your plant’s new home. Choose a bright room in the house but do not place the poinsettia in direct light. Remove the decorative wrapping (it looks good but it hinders proper air flow and water drainage).
Caring for your poinsettia. Unlike many other plants, the poinsettia’s soil will need to stay slightly moist. Watering will depend heavily on your home’s climate.
Knowing what’s wrong. Poinsettia’s can be finicky.
• If the leaves are turning yellow, your soil is too wet. Ensure proper drainage and only water when the soil surface has dried out.
• If the leaves are wilting, you may have exposed it to too much cold during transport from store to home. Do your best to avoid this.
• Wilting leaves can also be a sign of a draft: either warm or cold. Keep the plant away from vents or drafty windows.
Finally, poinsettias have a bit of a bad reputation with many folks thinking they’re poisonous. This isn’t exactly true: they are mildly toxic but unless you are legitimately allergic to the plant, the most you’ll face is a bit of a stomach ache. If you are worried about kids and pets, simply move them out of reach.