Bright red, pink and white poinsettias add just the right punch of color to your Christmas decor. Poinsettias are native to Mexico, and typically bloom during winter in their tropical climate. Depending on the climate where you live, you can display poinsettias indoors and out, or both.
Inside your home, surround the base of your Christmas tree with a ring of poinsettias. As presents are placed under the tree, move the plants near sunny windows in your home. You can pile poinsettias in entryways, line them on staircases and plop them in large baskets.
Poinsettias like temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When you’re entertaining or taking a family photo on a warm day, fill up the porch with these flowers, remembering to bring them inside when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Poinsettias are easy to care for once you know their needs, says Jennifer Webber, head grower at Rambo Nursery in Dallas, Georgia. Rambo Nursery is an exclusive supplier to The Home Depot. Last year, they shipped more than 221,000 poinsettias to The Home Depot Garden Centers in the Southeast.
Here are Jennifer’s tips for success:
- Treat poinsettias just like houseplants. Put them in a sunny spot in your home, preferably near a window.
- Water once a week when the soil is dry to the touch or the pot is lightweight. Avoid over-watering; excessive amounts of water will cause root diseases resulting in leaf drop or may even kill the plant.
- The easiest method of watering poinsettias requires ice cubes and knowing the size of your plant’s pot. A 6-inch pot requires six ice cubes every three to five days. An 8-inch pot requires eight ice cubes every three to five days, and so on. If your poinsettia gets a lot of sun, add ice cubes or water more frequently.
Here’s a fact: poinsettias are lovely flowers, but the pretty parts that we think of as the bloom are really bracts. The colorful bracts are a kind of leaf, and the real poinsettia flower is the smaller green or yellow flower in the center of the bracts. (Photograph above by Laura Mercer)
After the holidays, you can treat poinsettias the same as annuals in most areas of the country. Once they start dropping leaves and looking unkempt, add them to the compost pile and recycle the containers. If you live in an area where they are grown outdoors as ornamentals, then plant in a partly shaded area.
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Special thanks to Rambo Nursery for providing assistance with this story.