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Poinsettia Care Guide: Proper Care Before, During & After the Holidays

Are you looking for a Poinsettia care guide for your new plant even after the season is over?

Proper care of your poinsettia plant will help keep it vibrant so you can enjoy it much longer. This Poinsettia care guide will help you to maintain beautiful poinsettia plants.

If you were gifted a poinsettia or wanting one for the first time, this post is definitely for you. 

In this Poinsettia Care Guide, I will:

  • Share with you some facts about the poinsettia plant.
  • Provide tips and tricks to keep your poinsettia plant beautiful before, during and after the holidays.

A Few Poinsettia Facts

Before you learn about Poinsettia care, you really need to learn about the Poinsettia. Did you know these facts:

Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced the poinsettia plant to the United States from Mexico. Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico.

In Mexico the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10-15 feet tall. This was very surprising to me as I’ve only seen them as potted plants at Christmas time that don’t get very tall at all. 

In nature, Poinsettias are perennial flowering shrubs that were once considered weeds.

Also, did you know there are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today? Poinsettias come in colors like the traditional red, white, pink, burgundy, marbled and speckled. Obviously, the red is the most popular.

Poinsettias are not frost-tolerant. You can grow poinsettias outdoors in temperate coastal climates, such as Southern California beach communities. 

The Paul Ecke Ranch in California grows over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and does about 50% of the world-wide sales of Poinsettias. WOW! Poinsettias are the best selling potted plant in the United States and Canada.

The most common question people ask about poinsettias is how to get them to rebloom over time. I’m hopefully going to give you some tips to help you make that happen for your poinsettia!

How do you Maintain a Poinsettia?

A LOT of the work in maintaining a beautiful poinsettia is the quality selected by you. The showy colored parts of Poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves). The yellow flowers, or cyathia, are in the center of the colorful bracts. The plant drops its bracts and leaves soon after those flowers shed their pollen. For the longest-lasting Poinsettias, choose plants with little or no yellow pollen showing.

How long can you keep a poinsettia fresh? Modern poinsettia varieties stay attractive for a long time if given proper care. The best tip is to make sure your plant is getting plenty of sunshine. Place your poinsettia in a sunny window or the brightest area of the room, but don’t let it touch cold window panes. Remember – It doesn’t like cold.

Poinsettias are really picky about their environmental temperature. The day temperature should be 65 to 75 degrees F. with 60 to 65 degrees at night. Temperatures above 75 degrees will shorten bloom life, and below 60 degrees may cause root rot.

Also, move plants away from drafty windows at night or draw drapes between them to avoid damage from the cold. I would avoid covering them with anything as this could smash or ruin the leaves. In a nutshell, it’s just extremely important to make sure a poinsettia is placed in the right temperature that it likes. 

How Often Do You Water a Poinsettia?

When it comes to poinsettia care, paying attention to watering is extremely important. Poinsettias are finicky in regard to soil moisture. Avoid over watering because poinsettias do not like “wet feet.”

On the other hand, if the plant is allowed to wilt, it will drop some leaves. So how do you maintain proper moisture?

Examine the potting soil daily by sticking your finger about one-half inch deep into the soil. If it is dry to this depth, the plant needs water. When it becomes dry to the touch, water the plant with lukewarm water until some water runs out of the drainage hole, then discard the drainage water. 

This is just a simple rule of thumb for determining watering needs of the poinsettia plant. For watering, use the watering can linked below to water at the same level of the soil. 

poinsettia care guide

Bloem Aqua Rite Watering Can

This is the same can I use for all my indoor gardening projects. 

Are Poinsettia Poisonous?

Has people told you that poinsettias are poisonous? Or maybe you read it somewhere?

This information is actually misinformation. It’s not true. There has never been a recorded case of poinsettia poisoning resulting in death. Also, there has been studies within universities that prove a poinsettia to be non poisonous. 

HOWEVER, there have been lots of cases of allergic reactions or side affects when consuming poinsettia. The most common side effects from the milky sap the comes from the plant that have been reported are upset stomach, vomiting and skin irritations.  

Plus poinsettia leaves have an awful taste. You might want to keep your pets from snacking on poinsettia leaves because of the side effects.

How do you care for a Poinsettia after Christmas?

Do you love your poinsettia so much that you want to keep it around longer? Keep in mind that the poinsettia requires 12 hours of darkness at a time for 5 days in a row to bloom and change color. Then, they require abundant light during the day for the brightest color. 

Also keep in mind the temperature. As I’ve mentioned, poinsettias must have warm temperatures similar to their natural setting. Anyone can have a bright lovely poinsettia all year round but the environment must be right for them to bloom. 

Enjoy Your Beautiful Fresh Poinsettia!

I hope this poinsettia care guide has helped you to keep your poinsettia looking gorgeous before, during and after the holidays have passed!

~ Much Love ~