Hi Guys, Rob the Plant Guy back again! This time we are talking Poinsettias- one of the most popular holiday flowers. There is a lot know about caring for your Poinsettia, including the fact you CAN keep it for next year and it will bloom again. That does involve some extra care and we’ll get to those instructions in my next post. For now let’s see how we can care for our Poinsettia to keep it healthy and looking great through the holidays.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Poinsettias is that they are a cold weather plant. In fact, they are tropical and don’t like the cold. Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Central America and like as much sunlight as possible. A sunny window facing East, South or West is preferred. Poinsettias do best in a daytime temperature of 65-75 degrees F which will also help to keep it in bloom as long as possible. If the temperature drops to about 60 at night that’s OK, just keep your plant away from drafty areas and do not let the leaves touch the cold window. Have you ever seen a gangly Poinsettia in bloom with only a couple of sad, wilted leaves hanging on? It is more than likely that it was exposed to the cold or to extreme shifts in temperature.

Water your Poinsettia when it feels dry to the touch. Water it until it drains out of the bottom, but do not let it sit in water. Remember, these plants are tropical so you may want to mist your Poinsettia if the air in your home is dry due to climate or heating. You can also place pebbles in a tray under your plant to create some humidity, and prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Oh, and I have to make sure you know the truth about Poinsettias- they often get a bad rap for being poisonous when in fact they are not! Yes, the sap is a bit caustic and may irritate your skin, and certainly some indegestion will occur if you or your pet eats it. So avoid getting the sap on yourself and don’t make a salad with your Poinsettia and you’ll be fine!

Interesting Fact! Did you know that the colorful petal-looking part of a Poinsettia is really its bracts? The bracts are simply leaves posing as petals. The actual flowers are the tiny yellow clusters found at the center of the bracts.

For my December post I’ll show you how to keep your Poinsettia so it will bloom again next year. Until then, I hope you are enjoying all the fun and spirit of the holiday season!