Poinsettia Pointers

Red Poinsettias

Nothing says “Christmas” like a beautiful poinsettia.  Whether you prefer traditional red, pretty pink, elegant white, or the newer varieties like white-flecked “jingle” or pom-pom shaped “winter rose”, a poinsettia adds holiday cheer to your home.  Here are some tips to keep them looking pretty once you’ve gotten them home.

When selecting poinsettias, avoid plants that appear wilted or neglected.  Check to see if the flowers (the small, golden “centers” of what are actually the brightly colored leaves of the plant, not the flower petals) are still on the plant.  Avoid plants sold with a plastic or paper “sleeve” that wraps around the pot and plant; these damage the foliage.  You can expect to pay more for “florist-quality” poinsettias, but it’s worth it-they usually look nicer for a longer time than cheaper ones.

If the weather is cold, you’ll need to protect your poinsettia on the way home.  This is the time when it’s appropriate to “sleeve” the poinsettia with a wrapper of plastic or paper…but avoid long exposure to cold even if the plant is wrapped, because a chilled or frozen plant will drop leaves very quickly.  Make your stop to pick out a poinsettia the last one on your shopping trip-poinsettias do not like being left in a cold vehicle!

With proper care, your poinsettia will last through the holiday season and keep going strong well into the New Year.  Pay attention to these tips, and your poinsettia will reward you.

  • Place it in a room where there is sufficient natural light to read fine print…but not where the sun will shine directly on the plant.
  • Avoid hot or cold drafts or excess heat from appliances, radiators, or ventilating ducts.
  • Place the plant high enough to be away from traffic and out of the reach of young children or animals.
  • Set the plant on a waterproof container to protect your furniture.
  • Water the plant thoroughly when the soil is barely dry to the touch. Allowing your poinsettia to wilt will result in yellowing leaves.
  • Remember to discard excess water from the saucer or foil wrapping.
  • To prolong color, keep temperatures between 72° in the daytime and 60° at night.



Are Poinsettias Poisonous?

While it’s widely believed that poinsettias are poisonous, they ARE NOT lethal to either children or pets. However, we can almost guarantee that anyone eating poinsettia (or any houseplant for that matter) will regret it because of stomach discomfort. That’s why we urge you to keep children and pets away from houseplants.