Caring for Poinsettias

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated March 5, 2010)

Whether you have received a poinsettia as a gift for Christmas, or you want to take care of the one that you purchased at the local store, caring for poinsettias can be a daunting task. While caring for poinsettias can often be a tad difficult, it is possible to do. Here are the best ways caring for poinsettia plants either indoors, or outdoors, all year round.

Houseplants:

  • Light. Poinsettias particularly love sunshine, and as such they should be placed inside or near sunny windowsills. The best windowsills to choose will be ones that face towards the south, west, or east in order to be able give the best possible direct sunlight.
  • Heat. Try to keep your poinsettias as warm as possible. This means that you should keep your plants between the temperatures of 65 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. During the night time it will be alright to allow the temperature to drop down to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but that is the absolute lowest that you should allow the temperature to drop to. In addition, protect the plants from any cold windows or any drafts that can damage the plant.
  • Water. Poinsettias absolutely love water, and will need lots of it. To ensure that you do not over water your plants, simply touch the base of the plant. If the soil feels dry, then it needs to be watered. When watering the plant, keep adding the water until it drains out of the bottom of the container. If your plant also begins to look a little wilted, then you will know that you have let your poinsettia go too long without water.
  • Humidity. One of the biggest problems for any houseplant, and particularly for poinsettias, is a lack of humidity. Confront this problem by keeping your plant well watered, and by also occasionally spritzing the plant with some water once in awhile.

In the Garden:

  • Light. Poinsettias need to have direct sunlight, and should be given plenty of it. This means that they should be planted in a location where it can receive about 12 hours sunlight. As much of this sunlight as possible should be direct, but a few hours of indirect sunlight will be alright.
  • Heat. Poinsettias require warmth, and lots of it. Help ensure that your plant gets plenty of sunlight which will help to warm up the plant as possible. Another method that you can use to help ensure your plant gets as much warmth as possible is with the use of mulch. Prepare a mulch bed around each plant to a depth of about six inches. This will help retain not only the heat, as well as the water that you give to the plant.
  • Water. Regularly watering your poinsettia plant is one of the best ways to ensure that it thrives. Be sure to regularly water the plant by either testing the soil to ensure it is moist, or with the instillation of a drip water system.

Keep in mind that poinsettias are a plant that is native to Mexico, and are therefore a very warm weather plant. This means that they should only be transferred outdoors when the last frost of the season has passed. This is due, in large part, to the fact that these plants are highly susceptible to the cold, and need to be kept as warm as possible. It is due to this susceptibility to cold, more than anything else, that in the colder climates, poinsettias are often limited to being grown in greenhouses.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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