Poinsettia Care - A Practical Guide

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A fairly popular symbol of Christmas is the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) or also called Poinsettia, ponsetia, federal star or Christmas plantIt has colors that are very suitable for this time of year since its leaves are green and red in intense tones. Christmas is the perfect time to grow this plant at home, as it is when they bloom, but we can also learn to take care of it and thus keep it at home throughout the year so that in the next Christmas season it will bloom again.

If you are wondering how to take care of the poinsettia, do not miss this article by Ecologist Verde in which we talk about all the poinsettia care. We hope that this simple guide will be of great help to you to take care of it all year round.

How to care for the poinsettia

The Poinsettia, poinsettia or christmas plant It is one of the typical Christmas flowers and plants, but not only does it last at Christmas time, but it can last from one year to the next with the correct care. This is a summary of basic care (we offer a more complete and practical guide later).

  • For it to grow healthy and strong it is necessary to place this plant in a well lit place, but not directly to the sun, since if it were, it would be taken out.
  • The poinsettia plant withstands low temperatures well, but not frost, so it is ideal as houseplant, even if can be outdoors in places where there is no frost.
  • Humidity is an important factor in the development of this plant. For this it is very important to create a humid environment around the plant, but avoiding that it has direct contact with water, so it is recommended spray water in your enviroment.
  • The waterings must be constant, especially when we notice that the earth begins to stay dry.
  • As soon as flowering occurs, the frequency of watering should be reduced, since this way the plant rests and gains strength for the next flowering.
  • During the flowering timeThe fertilizer of the land is also very important so that it flourishes well. Liquid fertilizer is suitable for the poinsettia plant and must be incorporated with watering approximately every 15 days.
  • Avoid any friction or blow that could break any part of the plant, especially during the flowering season.
  • It is also important to place the plant in a clean environmentPoor air quality can cause your leaves to dry out or wrinkle.

Next, we are going to comment in more detail on how to care for the poinsettia, paying more attention to each aspect of the care of the poinsettia or Christmas flower.

Where to place the poinsettia

It should be located in a place with abundant luminosity, since the leaves will end up falling in case of not having enough light for a long time. It is also very important that the plant is not exposed to drafts or is located very close to a stove or radiator, since excess humidity damages it (just spray). If your home is in a cold climate area, it is advisable to have the poinsettia inside of the house.

Watering the poinsettia

A substrate must always be maintained with a certain degree of humidity, preventing it from drying out, but without overcharging. When watering in a pot, the flowers or leaves should not be wet. A good irrigation method for this plant is the immersion irrigation, consisting of placing the plant in a bowl or dish of water that is not too cold and leaving it for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes, remove it and drain the excess water.

Here you can learn more about when to water the plants, because we will tell you what to take into account to know if they need more water or not, and in this other guide you can learn more about watering the poinsettia: how often and how to do it.

Christmas flower pruning

When should the poinsettia be pruned? The best time to perform pruning will be when the plant runs out of leaves, which usually happens at the end of January. In this process, the stems must be cut to about 10 cm long and the wound sealed with wax from a melted candle or some product that helps heal the wound. For pruning, it is recommended to use gloves, because they have an irritating latex for the skin and mucous membranes.

In this other post we will talk more about when and how to prune the poinsettia.

Poinsettia resting in winter

It is best to place the plant in a place away from the heating or outside but somewhat protected until the spring season begins. During this time you will have to continue watering the Christmas plant, although more widely in time.

Transplanting the poinsettia

When arrive spring, it is convenient to transplant the plant to a greater flowerpot, in order to renew your substrate for a higher quality one. From its stems our plant will begin to develop. We can improve this process by providing extra nutrients through a fertilizer.

Find more tips in these other articles about How to transplant a poinsettia and Transplant a plant: when and how to do it.

The flowering of the Christmas plant

The flowering of the poinsettia plant usually happens during the month of December, moment in which it is filled with its characteristics red leaves. For this, it is necessary that from the end or beginning of October they spend between 12 and 14 days in total darkness, covering the plant with a thick cardboard, a dark plastic or a protective hood covered with aluminum foil during the afternoon-night.

Caring for the poinsettia to bloom

So that the Poinsettia, Christmas plant or poinsettia flower, it is necessary to meet all the requirements of its care to cover its needs and make sure it is healthy. Therefore, you can follow these tips for making the poinsettia bloom and you can see its small flowers and its characteristic red leaves in full splendor.

  • Make sure you have it at a suitable temperature, away from drafts or heat that can dry out its surroundings.
  • Keep its environment with a certain humidity, spraying water on the surface of its land and around it, without getting the leaves too wet, you will achieve it.
  • Remember to prune the Christmas plant to keep it healthy so that your efforts are focused on developing the healthy parts, avoiding fatigue the plant with half-dry or diseased branches and leaves. By allowing you to focus your energy on growth and development, you will be able to flourish much better.
  • We recommend that shortly before flowering begins, when the plant is already preparing for it, you apply flowering fertilizer or fertilizer rich in phosphorus on its soil.
  • Don't transplant her when she is near flowering or just at that time.

Why does the poinsettia die

A Poinsettia or Christmas plant at home may be dying for various reasons, from which we deduce that the problem is that we do not cover its care needs well. The main reasons are over-watering, under-watering, pests and diseases, and over- or lack of natural light. Take note of these tips to know what to do in each case:

  • If you poinsettia has flabby leaves or soft, it is a symptom that is dying from excess water. If you see the poinsettia with withered leaves, try to change the soil as soon as possible to provide a mixture of part of yours with a new and drier one and wait until it begins to recover before watering it again. We recommend you read this other article about the Poinsettia with the withered leaves: why and what to do.
  • If you see that its green and red leaves and its stems turn brown or yellowish and dry, it is because lack of water. Water it as soon as possible and add more nutrients to the soil.
  • If you only see the leaves of a yellow or brown part you may have too much exposure to light from the strong sun. In this case, find a semi-shady spot to place it.
  • In case you see that its leaves are darker than normal and that it is decayed, it is likely that lacks natural light. To improve its condition, find a spot closer to a window or outside for more natural light.
  • If you see white parts, brown spots, spots that indicate pests (black, brown, red, yellow, green …), etc., it may be that your plant has some pest or disease, such as aphids or fungi. We recommend this guide from Green Ecologist on Plant Pests and Diseases: lists and how to eliminate them.

Therefore, if you ask yourself how to retrieve a poinsettiaKeep in mind that first you will have to take into account all these aspects to detect the cause of her being sick or dying and, thus, you will be able to solve the problem. For example, if you detect which pest is attacking it, you can treat it, if you see that the land is flooded by excess irrigation, you can change the land for a dry and adequate one, if it is burning due to excess sun, you will only have to locate it in an area of semi-shade or shade, etc. You can read more tips on how to revive a plant here.

Curiosities and characteristics of the poinsettia

After discovering all this about the care of the Christmas or Easter flower, we want to comment on some of the characteristics and curiosities of this Christmas plant. Between the poinsettia curiosities, Poinsettia or Christmas flower is it so:

  • Although the poinsettia is widespread in many countries around the world, it is a plant native to Mexico.
  • Its red color stands out in its bracts, specialized protective leaves, and not on its flowers, which are yellow. Learn more about them by reading this other post on What are the bracts of a flower, their characteristics and examples.
  • It is a plant of hot climatesAlthough it can also be grown in cold climates, but in this case it must always be indoors.
  • It is a deciduous plant.
  • It can grow to be a shrub of up to 15 meters.
  • Although it is a very decorative ornamental plant and we like to have it in view, it must be located in a safe place. This plant can be very toxic to children and pets, so you have to try not to leave it within your reach.
  • Sometimes its leaves turn pale. If this happens to you and you want to know how to get them to darken and be Red color, we show you this other practical guide on How to make the poinsettia turn red.
  • If you ask yourself "what to do with the poinsettia when the leaves fall off?", Remember that first you will have to make sure that it is not sick and once you are clear that it is not in bad condition, keep in mind that this plant can stay with this aspect but it will still live, so you can continue taking care of it and thus you will see how it continues to grow, it will grow leaves again and it will be able to accompany you for many Christmases.

We also recommend you watch this video below about the care of the poinsettia or Christmas plant.

If you want to read more articles similar to Poinsettia careWe recommend that you enter our Indoor Plants category.

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