The poinsettia remains inextricably linked to one specific time of year – Christmas. With their festive red leaves, this traditional Christmas plant makes an ideal seasonal gift and, with a little care and attention, will thrive well all year round.
The poinsettia is a native of Mexico, and was first named ‘Cuetlaxochitl’ by the Aztecs.
Treat your poinsettia right and next year the bracts will colour up again just in time for Christmas. Here are some expert top tips to keep your plant healthy.
- A poinsettia’s biggest enemy is cold. If purchasing from a florist make sure the plant is wrapped up carefully before you leave the shop and give it a little time to acclimatise before unwrapping it at home.
- Place your poinsettia in a light position, but away from direct heat, the ideal temperature is 55-60°F (16-18°C)
- When you get your plant home let it stand in water for approximately 20 minutes before removing it and allowing it to drain.
- After the initial watering try to keep the compost moderately dry. Leaf drop can be caused by over watering.
- To keep them going as long as possible, feed once a month with a standard indoor plant feed.
- Some people are allergic to the milky white sap of the plant; always wash your hands after handling them.
When kept as an indoor plant, the poinsettia will live longer with some sun exposure in the morning and shade as the days gets warmer. After the initial flowering, it will require an extended period of darkness for approximately 2 months in order to bloom again.
The Meaning of Poinsettia
The ancient Aztecs prized the Poinsettia as a symbol of purity. Nowadays, for many the plant is seen as a symbol of Christmas due to its brightly coloured bracts and seasonality.
Buy a Poinsettia this Christmas! A traditional gift that will bright your loved ones’ home throughout the festivities.