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Caring for Poinsettias: The Classic Holiday Plant

Learn how to select and care for your holiday poinsettia plant.

Caring for Poinsettias: The Classic Holiday Plant
The red poinsettia (Euphorbia) has become synonymous with the holiday season, but there are more than 100 varieties of this plant. Some of the more popular varieties of Poinsettias sport red, pink, yellow or cream-coloured foliage.
Potted poinsettia plant

1. Select your plant

  • Check the flowers for fresh green or red-tipped blooms. The showy coloured parts of poinsettias that most people think are the flowers are actually coloured bracts, or modified leaves. Poinsettia flowers are found in the centre of the bracts. If they're already producing pollen, part of the plant's colourful display life has already passed and its leaves will soon begin to fade.
  • Avoid plants that have been placed outside or kept in a chilly, drafty spot. These kinds of temperature fluctuations can cause poinsettias to lose their leaves.
  • Look for plants with green foliage near the soil line, indicating the young plant hasn't already dropped many of its leaves. Coloured bracts should extend over the lower green foliage.
Red poinsettia window display

2. Choose a spot for display

  • Keep poinsettias in indoor environments that range between 18°-21° C.
  • Avoid placing your plants in a chilly, drafty spot such as by the front door or near a heat source inside your home.
  • Poinsettias are the perfect houseplant for the holiday season. They are ideal as a holiday dinner table centerpiece, as an accent in any room, or as a gift for the holiday host or hostess.
Red planter

3. Caring for your Poinsettias

With proper care, the beautiful, colourful blooms on these traditional holiday houseplants will last right through Christmas and well into the new year.
  • When in bloom, poinsettias need at least 6 hours of indirect light every day.
  • Allow the plant to dry out between waterings and ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot. Remove the plant from watertight decorative containers when watering.
  • Mist poinsettias regularly and, if possible, keep them in a humid environment.
  • Don't fertilize your plant while it's blooming.

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