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Poinsettia – The Amazing Christmas Flower!


Many of us give these beautiful plants as gifts during the Christmas Holiday Season. To Christians the lovely red, pink & white flowers represent the Star of Bethlehem and signify the essence of the holiday – good will to all and peace on earth. In today’s language of flowers, they are the December birth flower, and express cheerfulness and convey thoughts of good wishes and celebration.


Buying Poinsettias

Many supermarkets and big box stores will have racks of poinsettias, marked down to cost and placing them by the store’s front door in the hope customers will be tempted on the way in or out. But you should never buy a poinsettia that has been sitting

next to a set of automatic doors that open every 30 seconds because it may be damaged by the constant change in temperature – even here in Central Florida where days are often more than a little chilly. Although it’s not visible at first, it may cause it to drop its leaves soon after being brought home.


Here at the Garden Spot, we lovingly care for our Poinsettias – and all our plants of course – Anita considers them her babies. They are kept indoors overnight and watered by removing the decorative wrapping and placing in a shallow pan of water for a few minutes ensuring that your gift will last the entire holiday season & well beyond.


Indoor Care

Poinsettias don’t like a lot of water. Always remember that the plant’s root bale should neither dry out nor be drenched. Overwatering can quickly lead to waterlogging, which in turn causes root rot and leaves you with a dead houseplant. You should water your plant when the soil is noticeably dry. This could be every day in the case of a plant near a radiator in a dry room, or only every second or third day in other spots. How to check? Carefully lift the plant; if it feels light, it’s time to water.


They do best when placed in bright, diffused sunlight, so place your plant near a sunny window where it will receive at least six to eight hours of diffused light per day. Although the plants can survive with fewer hours of light, they won’t be as vigorous or as long-lived. Be aware that exposure to direct sunlight can burn bracts and leaves.


Moving it Outdoors

Keeping poinsettias another year is quite easy. The plants sort of grow themselves with only a little care. After the holidays, keep them warm and moist. You can set them outdoors during the warmer weather but bring them in when temperatures dip much below 40 degrees. Don’t transplant the plants outdoors right after Christmas. Once all of the leaves have died back, prune the bushes back to two buds and keep it in a bright location. You can start planting it outdoors after all chance of frost has passed.

Caring for outdoor poinsettia plants is not very time-consuming or intricate. Once you see green shoots in spring, start a regular watering and feeding program. Outdoors, they tend to grow tall and leggy. Prevent this by regular trimming. Pinching back the tips of new growth creates a bushier plant, but the bracts themselves are smaller.

Here is an excellent article about transplanting your plant out doors


Pets

Poinsettias — a common fear among pet owners — actually prove less toxic than many other potted plants you’ll find this time of year. Here’s what you need to keep an eye on between the eggnog drinking and cookie decorating.


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