Euphorbia pulcherrima looks the part with its deep red color. Here’s How to Care for Poinsettias this Christmas and Beyond to keep them thriving for the new year!
When it comes to winters and the festive season, Poinsettia is the plant to grow! It looks lovely with its red bracts and looks like a living bouquet! If you want to keep it thriving for a long time to come, then here’s a detailed guide on How to Care for Poinsettias this Christmas and Beyond.
Check out our article on making a Christian Garden in India here
Poinsettias are quite popular for their colorful bracts that are often mistaken for flower petals, but in fact, these are colored leaves. The red poinsettia is the most sought-after variety, however, breeders have produces over 150 varieties of poinsettia that appear in pink, salmon, orange, cream, and white shades as well.
‘Valentine,’ ‘Sonora White Glitter,’ ‘Prestige Red,’ ‘Marble Star,’ ‘Cortez Electric Fire,’ ‘Early Orion Red,’ and ‘Cortez Burgundy’ are the most stunning types of poinsettias you can grow!
How to Care for Poinsettias this Christmas and Beyond?
Give them a Proper Light Exposure
Poinsettia likes to stay in a warm place. Keeping it near an east-facing window will ensure it basks in the mild morning sun for 3-4 hours daily while keeping safe from the harsh afternoon light.
Expose them to Right Temperature
The plant thrives best in the temperature range of 18-24. Make sure that the temperature does not drop below 15 C. Also, protect the plant from cold drafts and extreme temperature fluctuations.
Always make sure that the growing medium is not going completely dry. Water the plant when the topsoil feels a bit dry to touch. Also, avoid overwatering.
Use the Right Growing Medium
Poinsettias grow best in well-draining, porous, and organic-rich soil with a pH ranging from 5.8-6.2. You can also make your own mix by blending three parts of sterile soil, one part of perlite or vermiculite, and two parts of organic matter like peat moss or compost.
Fertilize the Plant
Feed the plant using a balanced blend like 20-20-20, once in 4-5 weeks. This will make sure that it grows well and achieves that beautiful red color in no time!
Trim the Leaves
It would be a good idea to keep the plant trimmed to keep it bushy and compact. Snip away the yellowing leaves, too. Mist the plant after pruning to limit the seepage of the latex. Do not trim the plant in September as then it won’t bloom for Christmas.
How to Make Poinsettias Red for Christmas?
Poinsettias need short days and long dark periods to produce blooms.
- Keep poinsettia in a completely dark place for 12-14 hours from September for up to 8-10 weeks.
- Place it inside a closet every evening and then put it back to a bright window during the morning.
- Do not fertilize the plant during this period. Also, avoid overwatering and water only when the topsoil is dry.
- Once you start noticing the bracts taking that red hue, you can start keeping the plant in light.
- This way, by Christmas, you will be able to receive plenty of stunning blooms or bracts in the poinsettia!
Note: Without 10-14 hours of complete darkness for 8-10 weeks in a row, poinsettias will not produce their colorful bracts.
How Long Poinsettias Bloom After Christmas?
If looked after correctly, the poinsettia will bloom for around 2-3 months. During this period, keep the plant safe from cold drafts. Also, do not let the growing medium dry out. Keep it in morning light for 2-3 hours and save it from the harsh afternoon sun.