The first snowflakes have fallen (or almost!). Beautiful decorations already on the homes of many. The traditional songs are beginning to be heard. In short, Christmas is just around the corner! The poinsettia will probably be in your Christmas decor soon. Beware! This beautiful and festive plant needs adequate care to stay alive for a long time.
Poinsettia maintenance during flowering
Bye bye Packaging
When you buy your poinsettia, you often receive it in a nice festive, plastic package. Keep it until you get home to avoid exposing your plant to the cold, but once you get home, it is important to remove your poinsettia from its packaging. Keeping your plant in its packaging increases the risk of dropping the leaves and bracts.
Water only enough
he poinsettia is a bit temperamental and does not take well to excess water. In fact, inadequate watering will cause it to lose its beautiful leaves. Our experts recommend checking the condition of the soil once or twice a week. If it is dry to the touch, water moderately with water at room temperature. It is very important to remove any excess water found in the saucer or ornamental planter to prevent root rot. Finally, let the soil dry between waterings.
Perfect light and temperature
The poinsettia is aptly named the star of Christmas: it loves light! If it lacks light, it risks losing its leaves! So place it in a well-lit room to provide it with a maximum of indirect light. A comfortable indoor temperature of no more than 20° C. Like most plants, it appreciates a slight drop in temperature at night, around 17 °C.
Beware of extreme temperatures! The poinsettia is very sensitive to it. A too high temperature shortens the period of colouration of bracts. Therefore, avoid placing it near heat sources and cold drafts. When purchasing, do not place your plant on the frozen seat of your car. This could result in the loss of its leaves. Remember to warm up your vehicle before leaving!
When your poinsettia is in bloom, there is no need to fertilize it.
If you continue to care for it from January to March, your poinsettia will stay in good condition until spring, but eventually it will lose its bracts. You will then have to decide whether to compost it or try to make it bloom again for the next Christmas.
Make a poinsettia bloom again
You are an avid gardener and you have decided to re-cover your Christmas star? Very good choice! Of course, it’s not that easy to get your poinsettia to bloom again, but with a little patience, determination and a few maintenance tips you can do it!
Pruning and repotting
Do a first pruning at the end of April. Cut back the stems to a height of about 20 cm. Take the opportunity to pot the plant in the Connaisseur® Potting Soil for indoor plants. It will give it some pep! Towards the beginning of August, make a second pruning by keeping only 3-4 leaves per stem in order to keep your plant compact. Be careful, if you pinch after the beginning of September, it may be too late to make it bloom again. Spray the plant as needed to avoid drying out.
Ideal light and temperature
In summer, provide your poinsettia with as much light as possible. It will certainly enjoy being outdoors once the risk of frost has passed. The poinsettia is a short-day plant; that is to say that it must receive about 10 hours of full light and 14 consecutive hours of total darkness in order to bloom. From September on, the natural shortening of the days favors the formation of new flower buds, but the artificial lighting in our homes hinders the process. To counter this phenomenon, you should put your plant in a closet or under a cardboard box as soon as you come in from work. You should then remember to take it out of its hiding place before leaving the next morning!
A temperature of 20-24 °C is ideal during the period of formation of the flower buds. In mid-November, when the bracts are well coloured, you can reduce the temperature to 15-18 °C to accentuate the colouration.
From the end of April to mid-September, fertilize your plant regularly with a water-soluble fertilizer for indoor plants. Starting in November, it will be helpful to use a potassium-rich fertilizer to promote flower formation.
Even if the holiday season doesn’t last forever, your poinsettia doesn’t have to end up in the compost as soon as Santa Claus finishes his rounds. It can grace your home for two years in a row if you take good care of it! Sure, it won’t be as leafy as if you bought a new one, but you’ll get credit for making your Christmas star shine for a second year!