If you’re looking for a beautiful potted plant for this Christmas season to have around the home, poinsettias are a perfect choice. These plants provide a beautiful mix of colors, all shades being perfect for Christmas decor in any home. Along with their holiday appeal, they are also quite easy to tend to and will last for quite a bit of time. There are many uses for poinsettia during the holiday season, you can use them as decor on the tree, on the wreath, or on a mantel above the stockings. There are many ways to get creative when decorating around the holidays, and using poinsettia is just one great way to do so during the holiday season.
Poinsettias don’t like to be water-logged. Check the soil every week and water only when the soil surface is dry to the touch. Let the water drain out of the pot, then dump out any excess from the saucer. With proper care poinsettias can look good until mid-January. The colored parts of the poinsettia plant are modified leaves called bracts. The bright yellow bumps in the center, called cyathia, are actually the flowers. Look for a plant that has a lot of cyathia, which tells you how fresh it is. If they’ve fallen off, the plant is past its prime.
Poinsettias are beautiful small plants that make for great seasonal color within the winter months, especially during the holidays. The petals, which appear to be flowers at first, are actually modified leaves which are apart of the upper part of the plant, which are called bracts. Poinsettia usually prefer to be grown as indoor plants in pots when grown in cold climates, because they are subtropical and being grown in the wrong temperatures will result in a much shorter lifespan or delay flowering. Poinsettias should be kept from 60°F to 70°F when grown indoors. Poinsettia can be grown outdoors, if the outdoor night temperatures are above 55°F. However, they should be moved back indoors when temperatures drop in the fall.
To start your poinsettias, the easiest way is to take cuttings from another poinsettia. These will usually grow into sizes of poinsettia good for smaller indoor pots. Take the cuttings sometime in August and place the cuttings into a pot with a mixture of peat moss and sand. Keep these pots in the shade and keep them somewhat moist until they root, which takes around 3 weeks. Then, move them into bigger pots full of a mixture of soil, sand, and peat moss. You want to also keep this soil mixture moist. Do not let the soil dry out. Keep the soil fairly moist until you bring them indoors in October.
When being grown inside, they require some exposure to the sun each morning as well as shade on warmer days or hot parts of the day. Poinsettias will need at least five hours of sunlight per day, so make sure to place the pot in a window that receives appropriate sunlight and shade. If you’re unable to provide proper sunlight, you will have to water your plants more frequently since the extra sunlight will dry out the soil quicker. You also should keep the humidity high by placing plants nearby or by using a humidifier. Soil should never dry out when growing poinsettias, and you will need drainage holes in the pots you’re using. However to avoid root rot, you should not let the pots sit in a saucer filled with water. If you do not use proper drainage, the soil will become waterlogged and cease airflow to the roots. You also need to be maintaining a temperature of 60°F to 70°F both day and night to ensure rich, colorful, and healthy blooms.
During the fall, in order to get your poinsettias to bloom, you will have to provide them with full darkness. Starting at the beginning of October, you need to place all poinsettia plants into a dark area that receives no light or even artificial light. After 40 to 45 days, they can return to their previous sun/shade routine. If all is done correctly, your poinsettias will produce beautiful Christmas themed blooms in early December.