Poinsettia Care

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A new cultivar of Euphorbia pulcherrima from 2023. Grown at Van Wingerden greenhouses. This is considered a double bloom.

A new cultivar of Euphorbia pulcherrima from 2023. Grown at Van Wingerden greenhouses. This is considered a double bloom.

Euphorbia pulcherrima, also known as the poinsettia, is a significantly important plant for the horticulture industry. Millions of poinsettias are sold to consumers during the winter holiday. They are known for their attractive bracts that subtend the flowers. The most common is the red poinsettia. However, they have an extensive range of colors, from white to variegated. These plants are often seen as dispensable and thrown away soon after the holidays. These plants, however, are easy to grow and continue to enjoy for years to come.

One important thing to note is the family of these plants comes from Euphorbiaceae. This family of plants is characterized as having toxic plant parts. E. pulcherrima is no exception to this rule. These plants are highly toxic and should always be kept out of reach of children and pets. Do not consume any plant parts or sap from wounds on the plant. If sap touches the skin, wash immediately with soapy water.

Euphorbia pulcherrima is an easy plant to grow. It requires conditions similar to those of most house plants. It is ideal to give it bright indirect light a few feet off an east or south-facing window. It allows the top few inches of soil to dry between watering and fertilizer in the spring and summer. This will give the plants the best chance of success.

One question commonly asked is, how do I rebloom my poinsettia? Native to Mexico, poinsettia are greatly affected by light and water. These plants are photoperiodic, meaning that they respond to changes in light. Around October 1st, give your plants 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. This will prompt your poinsettia to set blooms. Any light during the dark hours can affect the flowering process. Allowing the media to dry slightly more during this time may also aid in flower production.

When we buy our holiday plants, they are often root-bound and ready to be potted up. Not giving the plants adequate root space can lead to undo stress on the plants. We are leading to unhealthy plants and, at times, death. Learn more about up-potting your new plants.

With these tips, growing your holiday poinsettias is a simple task. They will save you money around the holidays and prevent a plant from entering a landfill. Good planning is necessary for a timely bloom next year. However, poinsettia is well worth the extra effort. It will also give you bragging rights and an easy conversation starter for your holiday gatherings.