Perfect Poinsettias

This time of the year sees the arrival of the Christmas Poinsettias with their brightly coloured bracts.  Traditionally these are red, but other colours such as white, pink and even yellow have become popular in recent years.  A Poinsettia is an ideal Christmas gift for a loved one or friend, bringing a festive feeling to the home.   

Protection from cold

Poinsettias are easy to look after as long as you remember the golden rule, which is that they don’t like cold or draughts.  Our Poplar Nurseries Poinsettias are from a local grower and are transported very carefully and given protection from the cold at all times.  When you purchase your chosen Poinsettia for a loved one or your own home, you can be assured that it will be carefully wrapped by a member of staff for it’s journey home as cold outdoor temperatures can damage the foliage.  Care instructions are available to ensure that you get the most enjoyment from your plant.  

For best results

Sonya (our houseplant manager) advises to use room temperature water for best results.  Overwatering can damage these plants, so it is therefore best to wait for the surface of the compost to begin to dry out before watering.  
Poinsettias require bright, but filtered light and a minimum temperature of 13-15°C (55-59°F).  A low nitrogen, high potassium fertiliser should be used to feed the Poinsettia monthly, which is available from our Houseplant Department.  

After flowering

Poinsettias flower from December to January and once the flowers fade, many are disposed of, however they can be kept and encouraged to flower again the following year.  Prune the plant back to approximately 10cm and keep it a 13°C.  Repot in early May into three parts John Innes No 3 to one part grit and grow over the summer in a light, cool place, ideally at a temperature of 15-18°C.  Short winter day-length is required for the bracts to colour up and to achieve this the plant should be placed in a dark room and protected from any artificial light sources after twelve hours of daylight each day.  They also require a constant temperature of about 18°C for good colour.