Wednesday, December 8, 2010
• When selecting a poinsettia, look for plants with thick, stocky stems, deep, intense color, and dark leaves which grow all the way down the stem. Poinsettias drop their leaves when exposed to sudden temperature changes, so wrap them in paper bags for a fast trip home, preferably on a mild day. To make poinsettias stay healthy and colorful once you get them home, give them the conditions they need.
• Plants should be kept away from drafts (radiators, air registers, and open windows or doors).
• Place the poinsettia in a bright sunny window or the brightest spot possible. However, do not allow the hot afternoon sunlight to shine directly on the plants.
• Do not fertilizer the plant. It is not growing so it does not need the nutrients.
• The soil should be examined daily and watered only when dry. Water should be applied so as to soak the soil to the bottom of the pot, and excess water should be discarded. If there is not enough water applied, the plant will wilt and the lower leaves will drop. If too much water is applied, the lower leaves will yellow and then drop. A soluble fertilizer is recommended, such as is used on house plants, once a month according to the recommendations of manufacturers.