How to Grow and Care for Poinsettia

Poinsettias are a beautiful plant that will brighten up any home during the holiday season. They can be grown in almost any climate. Primarily, you can use poinsettias as decoration during the Christmas holidays. They come in different colors ranging from creamy white, pink to conventional bright red. Poinsettias are small trees, but they can grow to about 10 to 15 feet high. However, you can control their height by pinching them.  If you are looking to add a poinsettia to your home this holiday season, here is what you need to know.

The Different Varieties of Poinsettias

There are different poinsettias plants; here are a few available species.

Winter Blush Poinsettia

This variety stands unique because of its patterned foliage and the noticeable differences between pink centers and the creamy color on the edges. This plant grows with uniform branches with dark green leaves, and it blooms in the mid-season. It has a strong stem that can withstand breakage making the flower a perfect holiday gift.

Photo by Agricom

This variety is distinctive by its frilly flower bracts. When it’s early winter, this flower starts to bear bright-pink bracts. It is easy to plant this flower; it grows from unrooted cutting to a heavily blooming, bushy, and market-ready pot plant. You can transport this plant from your garden to your house or balcony without the fear of damaging it, thanks to its strong stem and branches.

Photo by Green Acres Nursery

Christmas Mouse Poinsettia

Unlike other poinsettias, the Christmas mouse has rounded leaves and bracts instead of pointed ones. Its appearance resembles that of a red primrose. The name “mouse” comes from the mouse-ears-shaped leaves. The plant is available from late November to early December. Christmas mouse Poinsettia is commonly grown in European countries.

Photo by Pentland Plants

Princettia Pink

Princettia pink has light pink petals on the outer part of the petals and gets dark pink towards the center. They love light, however not direct sunlight. It is advisable that you water them once a week. Overwatering can cause them to lose their leaves and color.

Photo by Scola

Orange Spice

Orange Spice is one of the easiest cultivars to grow. The leaves of orange spice poinsettia have huge smooth flat bracts that are a bit narrow and elongated. Orange spice adds vibrant orange-red color to your indoor space. The first bracts are somewhat pale red with the true color development in the later stages of development.

Source

Poinsettia Care and Maintenance

When growing poinsettia plants indoors, ensure they get at least six hours of indirect light. And the perfect temperature should range between 65 to 75 degrees. Poinsettias drop leaves and shut down when there are low temperatures. 

It is best if you water your poinsettia plants whenever the soil surface feels dry. The watering should be adequate and avoid flooding the plant. Plant mister can be useful in keeping the plant hydrated.

Growing Poinsettia

You can grow new poinsettia plants by planting seeds or rooting poinsettia cuttings. It is easier to propagate it by rooting the cuttings. The cuttings should be about  3 to 4 inches long and have 2 or 3 mature leaves.

Poinsettia Growth Conditions

Light

When growing them indoors, poinsettia requires about 6 hours of indirect light (natural or incandescent). However, if you’re growing them outdoors, you place them in the shade for 4 to 6 hours daily.

Water

Poinsettia plants do well in moist soil. They can wilt when the soil becomes too dry. Water them as required from January through March. But remember, constant wetness on the roots can make them rot. 

Humidity

These houseplants require a humid environment for their color to last longer. Mist the foliage in the morning hours to allow them to dry before temperatures begin to fall at night.

Poinsettia Pests and Diseases

Whiteflies are the common pests affecting poinsettia plants. Spray the infested plants with a solution made from liquid dish soap (1 tablespoon) and water (a gallon). This solution will destroy adult whiteflies without harming your plants. Alternatively, visit an agrochemical shop for an insecticide.

Conclusion

Poinsettia plants are among the favorite holiday flowers. They’re easy to plant and maintain and will add a beautiful touch to your home.

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