How to take care of Poinsettia Plants?
Poinsettia, botanically called Euphorbia pulcherrima, belongs to the Euphorbia family and is widely known for its colourful leaves. Another common name for the plant is the Christmas star flower, which is native to Mexico.
Quick Details of Poinsettias
|Other Common Names||Euphorbia pulcherrima, Mexican flame leaf, painted leaf.|
|Type||Flowering plant or holiday plant|
|Flowering||Early to mid-December, bloom under the long night conditions of winter.|
|Light||Bright, indirect sunlight|
|Water||Tepid water ( watering when the soil is dry)|
|Temperature||Indoor temperature of 65 to 70 degrees F|
|Soil||Well-drained soil that includes peat moss|
|Fertilizer||15-0-15, 15-16-17, 20-10-20, and EXCEL Cal-Mag 15-5-15.|
|Habitat||Mexico and Central America|
|Toxicity||It can be irritating but not fatal if eaten.|
|Common Diseases||Thielaviopsis root rot, bacterial stem and soft rots, Botrytis leaf, stem and bract infections|
|Scientific Name||Euphorbia pulcherrima|
Things to know about Poinsettias
- The more the days get shorter, the more poinsettias will grow.
- The plant bloom well in temperatures between 65-70 degree F and moist soil.
- Poinsettia variegated leaves are usually modified leaves called bracts.
- Poinsettias aren’t hazardous to human and animal health, but the sap can cause dermatitis.
- Poinsettias can bloom outside the home during summer.
Overview of Poinsettias Plant
This houseplant is widely used for decoration, especially around Christmas in the month of December, but it is also beautiful as a green indoor plant throughout the year.
In response to the short winter days, the plant changes its colour. And its flowers are designed with bracts and small yellow flowers in the center named Cyathia. But, as opposed to the famous belief, poinsettia plant care isn’t complex. Once winter is gone, you can put your pops in the compost pile.
Poinsettias are available in different forms and flower in shades of pink, red, white, yellow, multicolored, and purple. Following are some of the common varieties:
Winter Rose Early Red: This variety has dark red, curled, smaller bracts that look like a rose bloom. It is also available in pink, white, and marbled.
Prestige Red: One of the best-selling varieties, prestige red is available in classic red colour.
Plum Pudding: It is the only poinsettia variety that comes with purple bracts.
Jingle Bells: This variety is available in red bracts dotted with white or soft pink.
Some unique varieties of Poinsettias
- Carousel Pink
- Ice punch
- Winter blush
- Winter rose early red
- Mars marble
- Cinnamon star
- Premium Picasso
Usage and Advantage of Poinsettias Plant
The latex of Poinsettias, even it itself is used to preparing medicine. But unfortunately, regardless of safety concerns, most people use it to help with fever, cause abortions and stimulate breast milk production.
How to care for Poinsettias? (Indoor and outdoor)
If you’re looking for tips that help you understand how to care for poinsettias indoors and outdoors, check the below guide:
Poinsettias – Sunlight and Temperature
Poinsettias bloom well in light and warmth if kept near around warmer. But the location should be far from open doors, fireplaces, windy corridors, and open windows. In a dry location, your plant may start to lose its leaves, so it’s a good idea to move to a safer location.
The most suitable temperature for a poinsettia if it grows indoors is between 15-22 degrees. You can place the plant well in the living room and bedroom at this temperature. But, the plant needs a proper sunny but light place to grow and bloom well. Also, protect the plants from direct exposure to the sun as their leaves may start to burn.
Poinsettias – Watering
Poinsettias like soft water rather than hard water. This means rainwater is ideally low and soft in minerals, which makes it best suited for plants. So, collecting rainy water or mixing tap water with distilled water for your plant is advisable. Instead, you can use filter water.
Poinsettias prefer a limited amount of water, but make sure the plant’s root ball is neither dry nor soggy. However, excessive watering can lead to waterlogging, resulting in problems such as root rot. Remember to inspect the plant’s leaves frequently. Also, if they are drooping or turning yellow, stop watering them. Poinsettia care in winter also includes watering if the soil is getting dry. It can become regular if the plant is kept in a dry room or near a radiator. It is best to keep poinsettias slightly drier rather than too moist and to water them more often and sparingly rather than infrequently but thoroughly. Note: Poinsettias love moist environments, so if it’s in a room with high central heating, mist them.
Poinsettias – Fertilizing
Poinsettias need not require to fertilize during winter. However, you can start fertilizing if you see new stems, green leaves, and bracts. Add composted houseplants to the water and mix well. Feed your plant every three to four weeks to provide essential nutrients for new growth and to keep the plant healthy.
How to care for poinsettias in summer?
When you start caring for a poinsettia plant in winter, make sure it survives until next year, around the month of April. Therefore, start pruning your poinsettia and keep it at a temperature of 13 ° C. In May, replant and grow it in a light and cool place at a temperature of about 15 to 18 °C in summer. When winter starts again, your plant will need 12 hours of bright light and 12 hours of complete darkness to prepare it for the shorter days of winter.
Pests and Other Problems for Poinsettia Plant
The white stuff on the plant:- One of the common indoor pests, whiteflies, can infest indoor plants during the winter months. White dots spotted throughout the soil and leaves of your poinsettia could indicate a whitefly infestation. Usually, white stuff like whiteflies will damage your plant by heading straight for the sap of the plant.
Cutting Rot and Bacterial disease:- Cutting rot and bacterial blight can spread very instantly and occur suddenly. Therefore, it can cause severe and instant losses, especially during cutting proliferation.
Falling leaves:- Poinsettias will naturally drop their leaves if they are exposed to drafts, sudden changes in temperature, or excessively cold or dry rooms. Likewise, they will wilt in response to excessive water needs.
Propagation of Poinsettia Plant
To propagate a poinsettia plant, you need to start with stem cuttings. First, cut back the stems and allow new growth to flourish. Next, keep the plants in a consistently moist, warm, and bright area to produce valuable cuttings. You can start taking cuttings once new stems appear, usually at least 4 inches tall. Make sure the cuttings are 3-4 inches tall with two to three mature leaves. In addition, you must take good care of the poinsettia with adequate water, temperature, and light until winter arrives.
In order to get your poinsettia plant to bloom again, you must keep the plant in a completely dark place with regular sunlight from 5 PM to 8 AM during the month of September. This should last from early to mid-December, and make sure temperatures stay between 60-70 degrees f.
Poinsettia care outdoors in pots includes proper care, watering, and sunlight, especially during summer. Pruning, fertilizing, and re-potting in the warmer months, keeping the plant outside, and a warm, dark environment are some of the ways to get the poinsettia to bloom again.
Poinsettia plant care and maintenance includes trimming it back, relocating it to full sun, and providing adequate watering and fertilizing.
With proper care, your potted poinsettia can last for 2 to 3 months indoors. However, depending on when and where you purchased your plant and the age of the plant, the life of a poinsettia varies. Digging again for the next season during the summer will increase the poinsettia’s chances of longevity. But don’t forget to treat them like cut flowers in cold weather.
If the poinsettia is drooping leaves, you should gradually reduce the watering frequency. Let the clay dry slowly and wait until the coloured grooves are the last to fall off. Later, when the soil is well drained, the plant is now in a dormant state.
With a bit of care and time, you can keep a plant alive to bloom again next year. Start by pruning away dead leaves to make space for new growth.
If you notice the soil is dried, it is the right time to water. This could be daily in the case of plants in a dry room or near a radiator.
Place your poinsettia in a location where it will receive 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. Pinch the stems back to 6 to 8 inches in mid-April and keep the plants in a bright but warm spot. When new growth appears, you can use a liquid fertilizer to ensure the plants get the proper minerals, such as calcium.
Water should be given when the soil starts drying on the surface, but when the leaves start withering, then water comes. During cold winter days, mist only the leaves to keep the humidity in the air high.
And the answer is yes. Placing it in a bright room and continuing to water the poinsettia will make the plant more likely to grow back.