Poinsettia plant - what kind of flower is it?
The poinsettia, also known as Euphorbia pulcherrima or simply a Christmas plant, is a very popular houseplant. Although it originates in Mexico, it has come to Europe in the currently known form from the United States. It usually has bright red flowers, but there are also white, pale pink and cream varieties.
Poinsettias usually bloom during Christmas, and that’s when the plant is the most popular. But it’s attention-worthy over the whole year - not only because of the beautiful flowers, but also the gorgeous leaves.
What to look for when shopping for a poinsettia?
The poinsettia is a widely available plant, so if you want to buy it - you won’t have a problem with finding it. You can purchase a poinsettia in a flower shop for a higher price. But sometimes poinsettias can also be spotted in supermarkets - with a more attractive price tag.
When shopping for a poinsettia, check the state of the plant. When buying in a flower shop, you can be sure that the poinsettia is in a rather good shape. In supermarkets, it’s a hit or miss. The customers might accidentally damage the plant while browsing. For this reason, make sure to check if:
- the leaves are whole and without discoloration,
- the flowers are undamaged,
- the plant is not dehydrated or overwatered.
It’s important to pick a healthy poinsettia, as any potential bacteria or fungi can spread onto your other houseplants.
Poinsettia care - how to grow poinsettias?
The poinsettia, known as one of the Christmas plants, likes a lot of lighting. For this reason, place it in a bright spot - although we don’t recommend putting it on a windowsill. Too intense sunlight might damage the plant.
Poinsettia care also involves the right temperature. While the plant is not frost-resistant, too intense heat is also not good. 20-21°C (68-70 F) make the best conditions for its growth.
Good soil is another critical issue when it comes to poinsettia care. A mix with an addition of humus is the perfect option. Although poinsettias cannot be overwatered, their soil has to be damp all the time. If it’s too dry, you can expect leaves dropping. It’s difficult to save the plant, in such a case.
Poinsettia - a plant that needs a careful attention
The poinsettia belongs to plants of an extensive blooming time. It might last even over two months. But it’s important to take a proper care of the plant, as long blooming is impossible to achieve without it.
Watering is the essential of a poinsettia care process. In this case, make sure to use small amounts of water, e.g. every other day. This way, you can be sure that you don’t overwater the poinsettia, and its soil doesn’t become too dry.
Fertilizing is another crucial aspect of poinsettia care. Do it regularly every 2 weeks. You can get a special product in flower shops or gardening centers. Make sure that it’s really meant for flowering plants.
Does poinsettia need pruning?
Although some think otherwise, poinsettia needs pruning. Not at random, though, but at a designated time. You can prune your poinsettia plant after the flowers finish blossoming. Then, you can trim the stems so that their length is no more than 15 cm.
Poinsettia flower - a perennial plant
Many consider the poinsettia a seasonal plant, but in fact, it’s a perennial. After it finished blooming, its green leaves can serve as a decoration - they look very interesting, too. If you take a good care of your poinsettia, it might bloom again.
In a way, you can force your poinsettia plant to bloom. To do this, you can use a clever trick. Just provide some light to the plant for a few hours a day, and then move it to a dark room or cover it with a box. This way, you can encourage the poinsettia to bloom again. But think carefully if it’s really worth it. As a result, the plant might produce smaller flowers during Christmas - or not bloom at all because of the strain.
Is the poinsettia a poisonous plant?
The poinsettia is one of the plants you should be careful about. Its leaves and stalks, but also roots, contain harmful juice. It might irritate your skin. For this reason, make sure to wear gloves when repotting the plant. Poinsettias shouldn’t be eaten, as consumption might lead to stomach issues and mild poisoning. It might be dangerous to babies and pets. In both cases, a quick action is crucial.
📍 Is poinsettia poisonous?
The poinsettia plant might be toxic - especially to small children. It's also dangerous to pets - dogs and cats. The white juice contained within the leaves, stems and roots causes skin irritation, and stomach issues after digestion. For this reason, be careful when dealing with the plant.
📍 How to care for a poinsettia after the season?
The poinsettia is a perennial, although it blooms only in season - around Christmas. It means you can keep it at home all year round and enjoy its decorative leaves. It doesn't need any special conditions - just make sure the temperature remains at about 20°C and water the poinsettia regularly.
📍 How to water poinsettias?
You should water your poinsettia plant on a regular basis. It's better to use a small amount of water every other day than to overwater the plant. If the latter happens, you won't be able to save the poinsettia. At the same time, the soil cannot be too dry, as the leaves will dry out and fall off as a result.