24th Mar 2020

How to Make Poinsettias Last Longer

Author: Flower Station

How to Make Poinsettias Last Longer

The  Poinsettia plant is a part of Christmas as much as pudding, trees, and turkey. While they are a beautiful addition to any Christmas decoration, no one said you cannot enjoy them even after the holidays. With just a bit of care, you could still have them at Easter and still as colourful as when you bought them. On the following lines you will find tips to make your Poinsettia plant live longer.

Place it in a Room Temperature Environment

The Poinsettia, or to give it its Latin name Euphorbia pulcherrima (the latter means ‘the most beautiful’), is a member of the spurge family. Its home is Mexico and Central America but it doesn’t mean it likes heat, it prefers warmish temperatures much more. The best temperature to keep it in is from 16 to 20°C or room temperature. It will last longer in constant 16°C than in constant 20°C. It is able to cope with lower temperatures. On the other hand, higher temperatures might lead to problems because of the amount of water needed. These plants like a constant environment and should be kept from frequent temperature fluctuations. When buying one on a very cold or even freezing day, they should be wrapped well to keep them from harm.

Don’t overwater it

Water management is a crucial part of keeping a  Poinsettia in health. Like the people, it doesn’t like to get its feet wet, meaning that too little water will do less harm than too much. Don’t let water accumulate in its pot. The top layer of soil should go dry from time to time; use your fingers to check if it needs watering or not. Don’t let the soil go bone dry all the way through, though.

Add fertilizer

If you intend to keep the plant long after the holidays, give it some liquid plant food once a month. It is available in any supermarket; instructions on measurements and quantities needed are given on the bottle. Usually, a poinsettia will require 1 or 2 tablespoons of fertilizer.

Put the Poinsettia in indirect light

When placing your plant at home, look for a place with lots of light. Avoid putting it into full daylong sunlight in a window. Plants may get a sunburn, too, and hot sunlight burning through a windowpane is the way to do it. Windows exposing it to morning or evening light only are a perfect place to keep a Poinsettia happy. The colour in the bracts is dependent on the amount of light available to the plant; if it has little light, then their colour will be light; if it has lots of light, then their colour will be a dark one.

Don’t worry about colour preservation

The plants will keep their colourful leaves for months on end. The red leaves (they do come in other colours, too, but red is the colour for Christmas, after all) are not the flower, these are hidden inside the cluster of leaves forming the eye-catching star pattern. The ‘flowers’ you may see inside the leaf clusters are not the flower of the Poinsettia, either. They are in fact flower groups consisting of several male flowers grouped about a single female flower. The male flowers consist of a single stamen each and they are arranged in a circle around a female flower. This arrangement is called a cyathium (plural cyathia). After the flowers have died, the bracts (as the coloured top leaves are called) may stay red for months.

How long can you keep a Poinsettia alive?

That depends on how well you follow the tips above, but on average a well-cared for poinsettia should last about 4-6 weeks until the flowers start to fall off and you can keep the plant healthy and alive for many months after the holidays come to an end.

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