When it comes to Christmas there is really only the one plant that comes to mind, the beautiful, deep red, star shaped Poinsettia. I love this classic plant and it’s wonderful leaves and often have them in the house over December. What I didn’t realise is that they actually come in huge variety of colours. This fabulous news means that whatever your chosen festive scheme you can find the Poinsettia for you.
Stars for Europe are the leading group of Poinsettia growers and have some wonderful information on keeping your blooms looking at their best.
First step is choosing a good quality bloom. A high-grade plant can be recognised by undamaged leaves and small budding yellow flowers at its centre. The soil should be neither dried out nor soaking wet. A true plant-loving retailer will also place their poinsettias away from the draughty entrance area of the store.
To get it home safely you should also wrap your poinsettia in paper for the journey home to protect it from draughts and temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius. This protects it from damage that is initially invisible but can lead to premature loss of leaves after a few days.
When you get you plant home it needs a warm, bright place away from draughts. A temperature of between 15 and 22 degrees is ideal, making these plants well suited to bedrooms and living rooms. Since the poinsettia originates from tropical Mexico, it needs lots of light. In the winter months it is happy by a south-facing window. Direct sunlight is not a problem since in our climates, from mid-October onwards the danger of too much sunlight hitting leaves is virtually non-existent. However, sufficient light is important for the plant to grow and thrive. On the other hand, poinsettias hate draughts, so you should always place them in a sheltered spot. If it’s too draughty, this warmth-loving plant may start to lose its leaves.
When it comes to watering Poinsettias require different amounts of water depending on location, room temperature, plant and pot size. For a standard pot with a diameter of 13cm, give it no more than a small glass of water, around 0.2 litres. This prevents large pores in the soil from clogging up and waterlogging. Mini poinsettias should not be given more than one shot glass of water. Excess water that is still in the planter after ten minutes should be removed.
Water poinsettias when the soil is noticeably dry. This could be every day in the case of a plant near a radiator in a dry room, or only every second or third day in other spots. You can check by carefully lifting up the plant. If it feels light, it’s time to water. It’s worth noting that smaller pots dry out faster than larger ones, so you will need water them more often. Mini poinsettias should be checked every day. You can also water these plants by soaking them from below, which saturates the soil more than normal watering. If in doubt, it’s better to keep poinsettias a little drier (rather than too moist) and to water them little and often, rather than rarely but in great quantity. Poinsettias are particularly long-lasting when they are fertilised once a week from about four weeks after purchase, using a commercial liquid fertiliser for flowering houseplants in the dosage indicated on the packaging.
So now that you know how to look after your Poinsettia, how do you fancy winning a stunning festive bouquet featuring the beautiful bract. Worth about £45 this will be one stunning display and we’ll have it sent to you in time for Christmas! To enter simply pop your details into the Gleam app below.
Good luck xWin a Poinsettia Bouquet worth £45
Disclosure – Stars for Europe have kindly arranged the prize bouquet.