Poinsettias are an inexpensive plant that can be used to decorate a variety of homes for any special occasion. However, do you know poinsettia care tips, or how often do you water a poinsettia?
Poinsettias come in many different colors and varieties, and each variety has its own unique characteristics.
Poinsettias are one of the best gifts which can be gifted to your loved ones during December.
They are very popular plants that are a great addition to any home. Many people keep them in their house all year round.
But what you need to know is what the plant needs and how to take good care of these beautiful plants.
Much like we did in our Care For A Christmas Cactus post, in this article, we are going to discuss some basic but important poinsettia care tips. Which will help you get the most out of your poinsettias. Let’s get started.
What Are Poinsettias?
The poinsettia plant is native to Central America and Mexico. They are considered flowering shrubs or small trees. They have the botanical name Euphorbia pulcherrima.
The plant was introduced to the US in the 1820s.
While it is a flower that blooms in the winter, it does not do well in super cold temperatures.
They come in a variety of colors such as red, white, orange, coral, and more. However, red is the most common color you see each year.
The height of this plant ranges from 6 to 24 inches in pots. However, in their native areas planted in the grown, they can grow to be 10 feet tall.
They have dark green leaves that measure 2.8–6.3 inches in length. The colorful bracts (that make up the flower look) are often mistaken as flower petals. That is because of the colored bracts and the way they group together. However, they are actually leaves.
For the bracts to change to their well-known bright colors they require complete darkness. They should get about 12+ hours of uninterrupted darkness for 6 to 8 weeks in a row for the colors to change.
The actual flower buds of the poinsettia are not impressive. They are a small group of yellow flowers that are located within the cyathia that are in the center of the bracts leaves. They look like tiny yellow berry-like structures.
Important Tips To A Perfect Poinsettia:
While poinsettias aren’t too hard to care for, they need a bit of attention to make sure they are thriving and healthy. Here are how to water a poinsettia correctly and the must-know care tips.
The tips we will cover in this article are:
- Best Blooms
How Often Do You Water A Poinsettia?
Many people don’t realize this, but the healthiest poinsettia flowers are watered regularly. If you take care of your poinsettias during the winter months, they can last throughout the year.
So how often should you water a poinsettia? We say two times a week. However, it will really depend on the environment you have it in. If you have a really dry house, you may need to water more often.
The best way to tell if your poinsettia needs water is to feel the soil surface. The soil should stay slightly moist at all times. Not super dry and not waterlogged either, you want it to be right in the middle.
Watering your poinsettia is important, but don’t overdo it. If you water your poinsettia too often, it can cause the plant to wilt and eventually die.
How Much Water Does A Poinsettia Need?
As we touched on above on how often to water a poinsettia, the amount of water a poinsettia need varies depending on the temperature and light levels in your home.
You just need to want it to have enough water to moisten the soil but not keep it soaked. This is much easier to do when you water it regularly.
To keep your plant from setting in too much water, make sure it is in a pot or container with drainage holes where any excess water can drain out the bottom of the pot. If you allow the plant to stay waterlogged, it may develop root rot.
Don’t let the soil get too dry or wet. Too much water is just as bad as too little water.
If you have trouble with the water running off before the soil can absorb it, try placing a few ice cubes on the surface of the soil. They will slowly melt and water the plant.
If your plant looks dry and browning, it could be suffering from dry soil meaning too little water, and you can water your poinsettia regularly to see if it returns to its healthy, vibrant color.
If you notice your plant starting to have yellow leaves, then you may be overwatering.
How Much Light Do They Need?
Thus far, we have discussed how often you should water a poinsettia and how much water it needs. However, we haven’t discussed how much light it needs either.
So, what does a poinsettia need in terms of light? The answer is simple: More Light = Bigger & Brighter Flowers!
A poinsettia needs at least six hours of sunlight per day. However, it does not have to be direct sunlight. This plant can thrive in 6+ hours of indirect sunlight each day.
That means that as long as it is in a sunny location, it will do just fine.
If possible, provide your poinsettia with as much natural sunlight as you can. However, if this is not possible, then you must provide the poinsettia with artificial sunlight.
If you have to use artificial light, not just any bulb will do. You will need to use a grow light or a grow bulb in a normal lamp.
Should You Fertilize Poinsettias?
Although most people think you have to fertilize houseplants regularly, this is not true to a degree. If you take care of your poinsettia and give it the proper amount of water and light, it should be doing just fine without any fertilizer or feeding in the winter.
One important thing to note is you should never fertilize your plant while it is in bloom.
If you keep your plant past the winter months into next year, then you can feed it from time to time. Normally around one time per month. You would just want to use an all-purpose fertilizer that is made for house plants.
How Do I Make The Blooms Last Longer?
This one is pretty simple if you follow the proper care tips we have talked about. There are 4 key things to remember when it comes to having bright beautiful poinsettia blooms that last.
- Watering – You want the plant’s soil to stay moist so the blooms can drink up as much as they need. But make sure not to overwater so that the plant is left standing in water.
- Lighting – The plant should get 6+ hours of light a day. Indirect light is fine. If natural light is not available, use a grow light.
- Temperatures – Keep your plant in warm but mild temperatures. The plant’s blooms thrive when kept at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t let the nighttime temperature dip below 60.
- Fertilizing – Do not fertilize the plant while it is in bloom.
There are many different poinsettia care tips you should know about. One of the most important is watering your poinsettia on a regular basis.
Most people only water their poinsettias once a week. This is not enough. The key to growing a healthy, vibrant plant is to water it regularly.
How Long or How Often Will Poinsettias Bloom?
How long your plant stays bright and colorful depends on how well you take care of it. If the right conditions are followed, the plant will bloom for 4 weeks and up to 8 weeks.
If you take care of your plant you can keep it and have it bloom year after year but only one time of year.
To get it to bloom, you will need to trim it back after the bracts have fallen off. This happens normally in late February or early March.
This is also when the plant should be fertilized on a regular basis. Trim it just below where the bracts just under that top leaf node to encourage new growth.
In early summer re-pot to a larger container if needed. Then in late summer early fall is the best time to start the processes of moving it to total darkness for 12+ hours a day.
You probably will not notice it starting to change until at least 3 weeks of moving it from light to dark each day have passed.