When removing your poinsettia from the sleeve, tear from the bottom up. Follow these simple rules to better care throughout the holidays:
Place in an area that it will receive a minimum of six hours of bright (but not direct) sunlight each day. A window facing south, east, or west is better than one facing north. Avoid contact between the plant and cold windowpanes.
They prefer temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 65 degrees at night. Low nighttime temps help keep their brilliant color.
Keep the soil moist, but not wet. When you see the surface is dry water slowly until water drains through the bottom of pot. If a saucer is used discard any standing water. If there is a foil cover, remove the foil when watering.
Water and maintain the plant indoors until after the last frost in spring. You may cut the plant back to 6” if plant is leggy, but best done before April. Repotting may be necessary. Begin feeding with an all-purpose plant food, once every two weeks. Once the outdoor temps at night are above 50 degrees, move to a spot outside with direct morning sun, but shaded in the hot afternoon. In the fall, before temps fall below 45 degrees, bring the plant indoors. Check for insects, spray with soapy water. Stop feeding the plant once inside. Beginning in September, your plant will need 10 hours of daylight (in a sunny window) and 14 hours of complete darkness (an unused closet is common) daily. This will last 8- 10 weeks, until bracts begin to form and show color. Place near a sunny window, enjoy, and repeat the process.
BRACTS vs BLOOM
Did you know that the colorful bracts (leaves) are not the flower of a poinsettia? The flowers are actually the yellow clusters in the center of the bracts.
Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not toxic to humans or domestic animals. Ingestions may cause nausea or vomiting, but a large amount would need to be eaten.