Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to take care of your Poinsettia plant.

December 12 is national Poinsettia Day, so named for Joel Roberts Poinsett who introduced the poinsettia plant to the United States from Mexico.
Today, we can enjoy dozens of varieties of poinsettias, all stemming from the development of those original plants. You should know that poinsettias are not poisonous, though some people are sensitive to the white sap they produce. Poinsettias have thin foliage leaves that vary in color from pale to dark green.

The showy parts of the poinsettia that most people think of as flowers are actually specialized leaves, called bracts. The actual flowers are the tiny yellow clusters found at the very center of the bracts. In nature, the brightly colored bracts are there to protect the plant and to attract insects to the flowers in order to spread the pollen.
Poinsettias are available in a wide variety of breathtaking colors from solid red to variegated leaves.
Poinsettias can be colored  with food-based dyes to create some amazing colors. Proper care for your poinsettia begins before you leave the store. We will carefully bag your poinsettia when it’s cold to protect it on its way home. Once you get your poinsettia home, unwrap it and place it in a room where it will get bright light, but not direct sunlight. Poinsettias don’t like drafts, either hot or cold, so keep away heater vents, fireplaces, doors and cold windows.
The ideal room temperature should be around 70°F during the day and no cooler than 60°F at night. Place the plant high enough to be out of the reach of children and pets and away from traffic. Set the plant in a water-proof saucer. If the pot is wrapped in foil, be sure to cut a drain hole in the bottom of the foil, so the plant will drain properly. Water your plant thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch. Add enough water to soak the soil to the bottom of the pot, then dump any excess water from the saucer. Fertilize your poinsettia every 2 to 3 weeks with a 20-20-20 fertilizer.
With the proper care, your poinsettia will last through the holiday season and retain its beauty well into the New Year.
If you decide to keep your poinsettia after the holidays, you should care for it as you would any other houseplant. Keep it in a bright location, out of direct sun and water it regularly.

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