How to Care for a Poinsettia Plant

December is for holiday festivities. The December symbol that is carried throughout homes all over is the month’s flower. The month’s flower is the Poinsettia.  

The Poinsettia is a common flower among homes, restaurants and offices throughout the month of December. The rich red flower is large enough to be a statement piece without being too large that it takes away from a space. The great part about Poinsettias is that they are relatively inexpensive.  

If you are looking to choose the perfect Poinsettia for your home or trying to preserve it, Society of American Florists has some useful tips. You’ll want to pick a Poinsettia with small, tightly clustered buds in the center. It is important that it has crisp, bright, undamaged foliage.  

When caring for the Poinsettia, you can check whether it needs water by touching the soil. If the soil comes off on your finger, it does not need more water. You should discard excess water in a saucer. To keep your Poinsettia bright in color, try to keep the temperature where the plant is stored consistent at around 60 degrees during the night and 72 degrees during the day. Protect the Poinsettia from extreme hot or cold temperatures. 

Although the Poinsettia plant originates in Mexico, the Poinsettias contribute over $250 million to the U.S. economy. The Poinsettia is most commonly sold in the six weeks leading up to Christmas.  

According to SAF, the rumor about the Poinsettia being poisonous is not true! The only way for the plant to harm you or your pet is if over 40 of them are eaten. Although, we know how much pets can eat. If they are ingested, you may get a stomach ache. We wouldn’t recommend eating them. What’s that common phrase you were told growing up? It goes something like, “Eat your greens not your plants!”  

Another misconception about the Poinsettia flower is that it is not really a flower. The red plant is actually just colored bracts or leaves.  They gain their color by being deprived of sunlight. There are over 100 different varieties of Poinsettias. They come in the traditional red, white, pink, burgundy, marbled and speckled. Whatever the color, this plant goes great in any arrangement. Nothing says Christmas like the Poinsettia. 

Although the month of December is associated with jingle bells, sleighs, Santa, snow and decorations. The Christmas Poinsettia plant is not limited to the Christmas season. It is loved all year round! 


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