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How to Take Care of Poinsettias

Poinsettias are some of the best-selling Christmas flowers because of their ties to the yuletide season. When you’d like to decorate your home with these quintessential Christmas flowers, you’ll need to know how to take care of poinsettias; that way, you can keep them alive throughout the month of December. Here’s our advice on how to care for these lovely Christmas plants:

Expose Them to Sunlight

While some indoor plants grow nicely when exposed to limited sunshine, poinsettias tend to do best when placed next to a well-lit window. Because these flowers are native to Central America, they are used to a substantial amount of light. We recommend placing them next to windows that face the east so they can get the morning sunlight and also experience the peak brightness of the afternoon. At this time of year, when the days are short and sunshine is limited, it’s crucial to make sure you’re giving your house plants the sunlight they need.

red poinsettia plant

Water Them Sparingly

Many people get in the habit of watering all their indoor and outdoor plants at the same time. However, all plants and flowers need different amounts of water, so it’s best to follow a specific watering schedule. You should only water your poinsettia plants when you can see that the soil is very dry or if any of the leaves begin to wilt. To avoid over-watering, you will need to keep your poinsettias in planters that have proper draining at the bottom, as letting them sit in water can be detrimental to these plants’ healthy growth.

Keep a Consistent Temperature

Something that can ruin poinsettias is being exposed to extreme temperatures. These plants do best when they are kept in environments that range from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If you go away for a weekend and lower your home’s heat to a chilly 50 degrees to conserve energy, for instance, don’t be shocked when you come home to some wilted poinsettias. Because these plants are known for surviving in tropical climates, they are more likely to flourish in higher temperatures than lower ones. So if you’re someone who likes to crank the heat up to 80 degrees in the wintertime, you’ll probably be in good shape.

Red poinsettia, green ferns, and more fill a wicker basket

Place Out of Reach of Pets and Children

You may have heard that poinsettias are unsafe to eat. In fact, many people shy away from buying poinsettias, as they read somewhere that ingesting these leaves can be poisonous. We won’t go quite that far, but we would like to provide a word of caution to make sure small children and pets do not eat poinsettia leaves, as this can result in stomach discomfort. Some people and animals experience irritation even from touching a poinsettia’s leaves, so if you see your animal or toddler touch or lick this plant, you should rinse the area of contact with soap and water to prevent the emergence of a rash.

The best way you can avoid your little ones and furry friends from coming into contact with these plants is by keeping them in out-of-reach places, like on high window sills and shelves that get a lot of sun exposure.

Find the Right Poinsettia Plant

Now that you understand the basics of caring for poinsettia plants, you might start browsing different types of plants and arrangements. If you’d like to go for something classic and simple, you might pick out a timeless red plant, like our Large Red Poinsettia. However, you may want to go for something a little outside the ordinary, like our Holiday Homecoming Basket. This arrangement is made up of four potted plants, including a red poinsettia, white cyclamen and green variegated dieffenbachia and pothos, all set in a lovely wicker basket and accented with a plaid bow. Another way you can incorporate this classic Christmas plant – but with a twist – is with a white poinsettia. This decoration puts a spin on this classic holiday plant and also looks stunning when placed in a room with a white and neutral color scheme.

White poinsettia

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