Nothing screams Christmas like poinsettias! These beautiful flowers are in almost every home during Christmas time. People love these flowers, but not everyone knows how to take care for them, that’s why we will talk about how often do you water poinsettias along with some tips and tricks to care for them!
The poinsettia plant (Euphorbia pulcherrima) has small yellow and green flowers with bright petals. They come in colors from white to orange but are most common in red! These plants are native to Central America, Mexico specifically. Today, this beautiful flower plant is the main decorative houseplant in many homes during the holidays. To maintain the poinsettia plant's height and colorful flowers, you must give them the proper care, and that's why we've created this care guide.
How Often Do You Water Poinsettias?
Poinsettia likes moist soil but not damp, so water only when the soil feels dry. The water needs to drain out the bottom so poinsettias won't sit in water. Over watering poinsettias could result in fungal diseases and root rot.
Keep an eye on their leaves, because if they are turning yellow, it means you are not watering properly. Giving them a big sip of water once every 2 days will be enough. Poinsettias like room temperature water so don’t give them cold or warm water.
Poinsettia Plant Care Guide
#1. Give Them Enough Lighting
Since poinsettias are from Central America, they like warm weather with plenty of sun. Place your potted plants in an east-facing windowsill where they will receive good morning light and shade in the afternoon. If you live in a warm-weather zone, you should be able to plant poinsettias right into the ground. Find a spot where it will get good sunlight.
The perfect temperature for poinsettias is a temperature between 65F to 75F. Keep your flowers in a warm room that will simulate the tropical climate they are originated from. Try not to expose them to dramatic temperature drops since this will make the leaves wilt.
#3. Keep Poinsettia Plants Humid
Poinsettia plants like to be humid at all times, and you can provide these conditions by misting them. Simply spray the leaves with a fine mist of water to keep them humid.
You can also keep them humid with a pebble tray. Get a plate or tray larger than the plant and fill it with rounded small pebbles. Pour water into the pebbles so it slowly evaporates, creating a humid environment for your poinsettia plants.
Poinsettia plants need a liquid fertilizer which has a 20-20-20 or 12-12-12 ratio. Fertilize every month and stop once fall comes. You shouldn't fertilize your poinsettia plants while they are still in bloom, which is normal at Christmas during the holidays. If you are not planning to keep your poinsettias after the holidays, then you do not have to fertilize.
#5. Prune and Propagate New Plants
Its crucial to prune poinsettias to keep them bushy and compact. Pinch small growing shoots occasionally during the growing season. The shoots you prune, can be used to plant new poinsettia plants. Simply plant the cuttings in rich soil and watch them grow.
During fall or late winter, cut old growth to encourage a strong new growth next spring.
#6. Care After Christmas
You can grow your poinsettia plants all year long until next Christmas and many others if taken care of properly. Check the list below for more information on how to take care of your poinsettia plant month per month.
|During the winter months, after December, keep watering your plant and providing the right light and temperature.
|During this month, start decreasing the amount of water and allow the soil to truly dry before watering. After 2-3 weeks, move your plant to a room with no sunlight for about 10-14 hours every night, with a temperature of about 60F.
|Now it's time to repot. In late May, repot your poinsettia plant in a larger pot than the previous. Fill the pot with a rich potting mix high in organic matter. Prune the plants to 8-10 inches, as this will encourage dormancy. Once your poinsettia is repoted, move it to a windowsill and water well. Keep at a temperature of 65-75F and fertilize every 2 weeks.
|In June just move your plant outside to a partially shaded spot and keep watering and fertilizing as before.
|During this time, begin to pinch each stem about 1 inch. This will prevent the plant from growing too tall and force it to grow new stems.
|Keep pinching new stems only leaving 3-4 on each branch. Continue fertilizing, watering and bring the plant back inside to a window with direct sunlight.
|Maintain your plant temperature above 65F and continue with regular watering and fertilizing.
|Starting this month, you must keep your plant in total darkness making the nights longer and days shorter. This process will encourage the leaves to change from green to red. Keep the plant in a dark room from 5pm to 8am. In the day, bring your poinsettia plant back to a sunny location and continue fertilizing and watering regularly.
|Continue the long nights and short days until late November. In the last week of November, you should be able to see flower buds. After this, you can stop the long nights and keep your plant in the windowsill.
|If everything went as planned, now it’s the time to display your bloomed poinsettia as your Christmas decoration. You can stop fertilizing and keep caring for it.
Important Note: Poinsettias are mildly poisonous plants, so it's important you remember this and keep them away from kids and pets, especially cats. Use them as a nice decor but keep them unreachable to little ones.
Now that you know how to take care of those beautiful poinsettias you just got, you will be able to keep them for many years.
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