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Poinsettia Care

I received a poinsettia for the holidays. How do I care for it?

These days poinsettias are one of the most popular holiday houseplants and it is easy to see why. The traditional red and green varieties can’t be beat when it comes to Christmas decorating, but now there is an exciting array of new exciting colors that offer more ways to deck your halls. I like to use the creamy white varieties in an arrangement with green apples, boughs of evergreens and votive candles.

Poinsettias are relatively carefree if you follow a few simple guidelines to help keep them happy.

Buy only poinsettia with tightly clustered, small, central flowers and crisp, bright foliage.

Protect purchased plants from temperatures lower than 50 degrees as you transport them home.

Water thoroughly when the surface soil is dry to the touch. Pour off any excess so the plants never sit in water.

Fertilize the plants within several days of purchase. I like to use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer because it is easy to use.

To prolong poinsettia color, keep the plants in rooms where the temperature is around 60 degrees at night and 72 degrees during the daytime.

Place the plants away from drafts and sources of heat such as vents and fireplaces or direct sunlight.

Poinsettias prefer high humidity. To increase humidity around the plant, place it in a shallow dish of gravel and add water.