Poinsettia care guide

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These plants are the most mass-produced plants during the holiday season. They are produced all across the globe for the holiday season. These plants are not just little plants that have bright, colorful foliage that falls off later. These plants are actually flowering bushes that can get up to 10ft tall if we just allow them to grow. Unfortunately a lot of times people end up throwing them away after they lose their pretty colors. Today we are going to talk about how to keep them alive beyond that.

Origin

As with all of our care guides, the very first thing that we need to talk about is: where did this plant come from? This plant was originally discovered in Mexico. It was originally cultivated by the Aztecs. It was only in the 1920s when it was brought to South Carolina, that it became a holiday plant. Also, it started to be more cultivated and mass-produced. The colors started to change and they became this wide variety of pinks, blues, variegated, and reds. They were no longer just the standard red and green that they were original.

Temperature for Poinsettia

Because these plants are from Mexico, they really like to stay warm. They like to stay between 70°f and 80°f degrees in temperature. They do not like to be kept out in the cold. Also, they like to be kept nice and warm. They will drop their flowers when they get too cold. If you want to keep the colors around a lot longer, then you want to keep them as warm as possible. They tend to thrive in places like Florida and the southern states, where it stays warm all year round. Up north, it is a little bit more difficult to keep this plant alive. You just have to keep in mind that it really likes a toasty warm room.

Watering for Poinsettia

Another thing that this plant likes that makes it a little bit tricky is the watering. It does not like to dry out completely. It likes to stay slightly moist. However, because it is going to grow into a woody bush, if you have it sitting in a puddle, it will rot. To find a happy medium between the two (where it’s almost dry, and then you water it) you need to make sure the plant is not sitting in water. You can dump out that cache pot underneath. If you have it sitting in one of the decorative cache pots for the holidays or if it comes in the foil, then you want to make sure that you are removing that foil as well and putting it in some type of other pot or allowing that nursery pot to drain.

Lighting for Poinsettia

 For these plants, this is actually one of the most simple things about them. Pointsettia needs as much light as you can possibly give them while inside a home, especially in northern states. If you are in the UK, if you are in the US, these types of places, definitely make sure that you are giving it as much light as you possibly can.

Think of it like a mini tree. It definitely needs a lot of light. Put it directly under a grow light or directly in a window. These places are going to be really good for it. If you are concerned about any kind of burning, it is going to show up as little circular, round, brown, spots without a yellow ring on the foliage. If it has a yellow ring around the brown spot, then it is a fungal infection, not a sunburn.

Pests and Diseases

Speaking of things that can affect this plant… along with some select few fungal diseases, you can get thrips on these plants. You can also get spider mites on these plants. One of the few pests that do not hit all house plants but definitely can hit poinsettia particularly hard is white flies. Specifically the variety of white flies that infest sweet potato vines regularly. If you have something to treat your sweet potato vines, then it will work on your house plants as well. You can also use a standard systemic and insecticidal soap spray.

Soil Mix

 The type of soil that poinsettia like is a well-draining loamy soil. They like it to be very airy, but moisture-retaining at the same. For commonly found ingredients try 50% perlite and 50% peat.

Size

If you can get them in the right soil mix and you can take care of all of their other needs that we have talked about, then you will have a ten-foot-high amazing bush eventually. Unless you continue to trim it down. It is a really incredible plant. They’re definitely not going to stay there little teeny tiny plants that you have in the grocery stores.

Rebloom

It can be a little bit tricky to get these plants to rebloom. The blooms are the actual colored bracks that they have. It looks like leaves but it is actually bracks of a flower. Then if you look down in the center, you are going to see the little tiny yellow area where the pollinators are going to go into play and have a good time. This is all one big giant flower.

As you keep your plant throughout the year, you are going to see these start to fall off and die off. It is like any other bloom. However, if you want it to rebloom, all you have to do is put it in darkness. Which sounds easy but they want complete darkness with one slight caveat. They want 4 to 6 hours of really good bright light each day. This is kind of simulating the wintertime and like they do not have enough light. They need to produce flowers to save themselves. Basically, you are trying to stress the plants out a little bit. Not in a bad way but with its natural evolution.

The difficulty can be to find a way to place them in total darkness. Maybe cover them with a cardboard box. Place them in a dark closet where you can only open the door for a certain amount of time or keep your grow lights off in a dark windowless room and then turn it on for only 4 to 6 hours. There are a lot of different ways to do it. Different growers have different methods. You just have to find what is going to work out well in your home.

Hopefully, this care guide helps your plant become something more than just a little Christmas decoration. It would be wonderful if you get to see it grow big, bushy, and beautiful. Experiencing a rebloom with these plants is an incredible thing to do as well. It is very empowering to have your plant rebloom for you based on your actions. Poinsettia is amazing plants everyone should be trying to grow at least once!

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