Looking After Your Poinsettia.
How do I look after my poinsettia?
Caring for Your Poinsettia Plant
For optimal health, poinsettias thrive in well-lit spaces shielded from drafts. If positioned on a window ledge, ensure they’re brought indoors when curtains or blinds are closed in the evening. This precaution prevents exposure to drafts or condensation that can cause damping off, creating a microclimate between the window coverings and the plant.
General Care Tips
Avoid placing poinsettias near gas central heating or electric heaters due to dry air. If necessary, place the plant on a saucer filled with gravel, keeping it moist to establish a humid environment. Occasional fine misting can also benefit the plant.
Allow the plant to slightly dry out between waterings. To ensure thorough hydration, place it in a sink with shallow water for a couple of hours, allowing the roots to absorb moisture evenly throughout the root ball.
When the red bracts begin to fade, trim the poinsettia by up to half its height. Pruning into bare stems stimulates new growth from dormant shoots within the stems. Rotate the plant daily to prevent it from leaning or elongating towards light sources. Begin feeding it with a houseplant-specific fertilizer, like Baby Bio plant feed, at this stage.
Poinsettias older than two years require repotting after flowering. Use a clay pot that aids in maintaining humidity. Opt for a soil-based John Innes compost number 2 for repotting. While repotting, inspect for vine weevils, a common issue with poinsettias.
During summer, post-pruning, provide ample light to encourage new growth. Consider placing the poinsettia outdoors, in a greenhouse, or a conservatory. However, bring it back indoors by early September.
Promoting Red Bracts
Natural red bract formation occurs due to shorter days. To ensure the traditional Christmas period’s vibrant red bracts, keep the plant in darkness or cover it with a black bag for approximately 8 hours daily, for about 4-5 weeks.
By following these guidelines, you’ll nurture a healthy and vibrant poinsettia plant throughout the seasons, ensuring its beauty for the festive period.
Poinsettias plants should be kept in a well-lit room away from draughts. If placed on a window ledge it should be brought into the room in the evening. when the curtains or blinds are closed to prevent them from getting a draught or suffering from damping off due to condensation on the windows forming a microclimate between the curtains/blinds and the window.
General Poinsettia care notes
The Poinsettia should not be placed near gas central heating boilers or electric heaters as the air in these areas is too dry. If this is not possible or your general has a living area with dry air it is important to place the plant on a saucer filled with gravel or pea shingle keeping the saucer damp to create a humid atmosphere around the plant. In addition, you can occasionally spray your poinsettias with a fine mist of water.
If the plant is left to go slightly dryer than usual, then it can be placed in a sink with about 25mm of water so that the roots can soak up the water over a couple of hours so the whole root ball becomes damp. If water from the top then the water may run right through the pot, as the pot is full of a mass of roots.
Once the poinsettia starts to lose colour
Once the red bracts start to lose colour the poinsettia can be cut back by up to half of its total height. If you cut back into bare stems it will start to reshoot from dormant shoots in the stems. The plant should be turned on a daily basis so it doesn’t grow or lean towards the light and become leggy. At this stage, it’s worth starting to feed with a house plant food such as Baby Bio plant feed.
If your poinsettia is over two years old once it has finished flowering it will need the following treatment to keep it flourishing. Firstly it needs repotting in a plant pot one or two sizes bigger ideally using a clay pot. ( clay pots are better at creating humidity around the plant )
With regards to repotting, we recommend a soil-based compost called John Innes compost number 2 compost.
When repotting it’s a good idea to check for vine weevil which can be a problem with poinsettias.
Summer light requirements
The Poinsettia needs in summer need a good source of light after pruning to encourage new growth. Your Poinsettia can be placed outside during the summer months or in the greenhouse or conservatory, it will need to be moved back into your house in early September.
Producing new red bracts
The red bracts naturally form as a result of shortening days which happens naturally. However to ensure the red bracts are formed for the traditional Christmas period it needs to be placed in a dark cupboard or covered with a black bag for about 8hrs per day for about 4-5 weeks to encourage the bracts to turn red.
For more information on care of poinsettia click here