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Growing Poinsettias

December 16, 2013
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Many Poinsettias come with the container wrapped in decorative foil that might not allow proper drainage holding in too much moisture for the plant, so be sure to insert some holes through the foil and place in a drip pan or just remove the foil altogether.

Most Poinsettias in the stores will also come wrapped with a plastic sleeve to help protect this tropical plant from extremely cold temperatures when transporting it.  Completely exposing a Poinsettia to outdoor winter temperatures for even a few minutes can damage the plant.

Be sure to place your poinsettia near a window with full sun, usually a south facing window is best.  Also be sure to keep the plant away from any areas with extreme temperature fluctuations such as heaters, fireplaces, drafty windows, or outside doors that may open frequently.

Indoor temperatures between 60 – 75 degrees are ideal for Poinsettias.  The frequency of adding water to your plant will vary depending on the indoor humidity and temperature levels.

Only water a Poinsettia when the surface of the growing media feels dry to the touch as too much moisture can easily cause these plants to rot.  But be sure to check your plant frequently for moisture because if the plant goes dry for too long in a warm room, it may wilt and cause damage.

Poinsettias, part of the Euphorbiaceae plant family, are tropical plants native to Mexico and are the top selling potted plant in the U.S. today.  There are hundreds of different varieties of Poinsettias to choose from in colors of reds, pinks and white.  Many stores even sell plants that are spray-painted various shades or are sprinkled with glitter to add even more fun to these colorful plants.

Unlike most flowering plants, the most attractive part a Poinsettia is actually not the flower, it is the brightly colored modified leaves called bracts that most people confuse with a flower.  The flowers of a Poinsettia are the tiny, green-yellow clusters in the center of the bracts.  Sometime you can even see little yellow granules of pollen coming from these flower buds (which can be a sign of the plants maturity.)

With the proper care, a Poinsettia can usually last several months indoors to enjoy long after the holiday season!

-Jonathan Milbrodt, TBG Plant Records Curator

 

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