Thanks to their wide variety of colors and festive flair, poinsettias are one of the most popular plants for the holidays and are beloved winter decorations. The other most popular Christmas flower, the Christmas cactus, comes in as a distant second in popularity.
But did you know that these festive holiday poinsettias can actually be kept as houseplants all year round? It’s true! In this article, we’ll take a closer look at poinsettias, including how to care for them and how to encourage them to bloom again come next holiday season. So keep reading if you want to learn everything you need to know about caring for this most popular potted plant for the holidays.
What are Poinsettias?
Poinsettias are a type of flowering plant that is native to Mexico and Central America. These colorful plants are typically used as decorative plants, and their large, colorful blooms make them a popular choice for holiday decorating. They complement Christmas trees nicely and is one of the most popular potted plants of the season.
Poinsettias are poisonous if ingested, so keep them out of reach of small children and pets. All parts of the plant, including the plant’s leaves, contain a milky sap that can cause stomach upset and skin irritation, so use caution when handling these holiday plants.
Many people immediately think of red poinsettias, but there are many different types of poinsettia flowers to choose from if you’re looking to keep one as a houseplant, so finding the right poinsettia to match your decor is a snap. Here are a few popular varieties:
- The Prestige Red is a beautiful, deep red variety that is perfect for holiday decor.
- The Princettia is a pink variety that makes a great addition to any winter decor.
- The Ice Punch is a festive, fuchsia and white variety that is perfect for Christmastime. It has deep reddish purple leaves that are accented by bright white centers.
- The Peppermint Twist features pink-speckled bracts against dark green leaves.
Tips For Poinsettia Care
Poinsettias are a popular holiday plant, but many people don’t realize that they can be kept as houseplants long after the holidays are over. If you’re one of those people who would like to keep your poinsettia going for next year, here are some best practices on how to care for it:
#1 – Healthy Plants
The first step in poinsettia plant care begins in garden centers, like Home Depot or local nurseries, by inspecting any possible new plant purchases. If you see any fungus gnats or a powdery film which could be a sign of powdery mildew, put the plant back. If the garden center has many unhealthy looking plants, it would probably be best to shop elsewhere.
#2 – Keep It In A Bright Room
Poinsettias need bright light to thrive, so make sure to keep it in a sunny spot in your home. If you can, place it near a south- or west-facing window in natural light. If you place it near a window, make sure there aren’t any cold drafts hitting it.
#3 – Water It Regularly (But Don’t Overwater)
Poinsettias need regular watering and like to be kept moist, but not wet. Water the plant when the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch, and make sure that there are plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Also empty any excess water from the drip tray beneath the pot so that they’re not standing in a lot of water.
#4 – Feed It Every Few Weeks
Give your poinsettia a boost by feeding it every few weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer. This will help it stay healthy and looking its best.
#5 – Cut It Back In The Springtime
Once the danger of frost has passed, you can cut your poinsettia back by about half its height. This will encourage it to branch out and produce more flowers.
What To Do When Your Poinsettia Starts To Lose Its Color
When your poinsettia’s flower petals start to lose its color, there are a few things you can do to help it regain its vibrancy.
First, light conditions play a big factor in keeping the color. Make sure that it is getting enough indirect sunlight. Poinsettias need at least six hours of sunlight each day, so if it is not getting enough light, move it to a brighter spot like a sunny window..
Second, poinsettias don’t like extreme temperatures, so check the temperature of the room where the poinsettia is located. It should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the room is too hot or too cold, the poinsettia will start to lose its color.
Third, make sure the plant is getting enough water. Water when the soil is dry to the touch and be sure not to overwater.
Lastly, fertilize your poinsettia every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer to help it regain its color.
How To Get Your Poinsettia To Bloom Again Next Year
If you want your poinsettia to bloom again next year, you need to follow a few simple steps.
First, cut back the plant in early spring, just as new growth begins to appear. Cut back all the stems to about 6 inches above the soil line.
Next, fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer and water regularly. Once the weather warms up in late spring or early summer, you can transplant your poinsettia outdoors.
When fall arrives, bring the plant back indoors and place it in a sunny spot. With a little love and care, your poinsettia should bloom again next year!
Some Common Problems With Poinsettias And How To Fix Them
Poinsettias are one of the most popular Christmas plants, but they can be a bit finicky. Here are some common problems with poinsettias and how to fix them:
1. Poinsettias won’t bloom: This is usually due to too much or too little light. Poinsettias need about 12 hours of darkness each day in order to bloom. If your plant is not getting enough light, move it to a brighter spot. If it’s getting too much light, cover it with a box or towel for 12 hours each day.
2. Poinsettias have wilted leaves: This is usually due to too much water or not enough water. Let the soil dry out completely before watering again, and be sure not to overwater.
3. Poinsettias have dry, brown leaves: This is usually due to too much sun or heat. Move your plant to a cooler spot out of direct sunlight.
4. Poinsettias have drooping flowers: This is often due to lack of humidity. Mist your plant daily or set it on a tray of pebbles and water.
With a little care, your poinsettia will thrive and bring holiday cheer all season long!
With proper care, poinsettias make a great houseplant that can last for months or even years.. By giving them the right amount of sunlight, water and fertilizer, you can have these festive plants blooming in your home all year long well beyond the winter holidays. So take advantage of this festive flower’s beauty and treat your family to a poinsettia-filled holiday season!