If you got a poinsettia for Christmas, it’s fairly easy to keep it happy and healthy and red (or white or salmon) for a few more weeks.
(file photos from our library)
You can even pamper it through another year and try to get it to color up in time for next Christmas, but that’s a lot of work and not really worth it. Leave growing holiday poinsettias to the professionals with year-round greenhouses.
Here’s head grower Noah Schwartz at Matterhorn Nursery in Pomona.
Remember that poinsettias, which are native to Mexico and Central America, are tropicals for us. They don’t like extremes in temperatures and they don’t particularly like the low humidity and dry heat of our winter homes. Spray your poinsettia with a mister or let it live in the bathroom for a few days.
Give it plenty of bright, indirect sun and a cool room with temperatures that stay in the 60s. Avoid drafty doorways or windowsills and keep it away from heaters, appliances, ventilating ducts or fireplaces.
Poinsettias like moderately moist soil. Don’t ever let the plant dry out completely because the leaves will quickly wilt and begin to fall off. Instead, water the plants thoroughly when the surface feels dry to the touch.
You also want to poke holes in any decorative wrapping to encourage good drainage or remove the wrapping entirely. And there’s no need to fertilize a poinsettia when it’s in bloom.