The rich, velvety red and white foliage of poinsettias have become a staple of any holiday display. But there are a few things to keep in mind when caring for your plants to keep them looking their best. Understanding the plants’ needs will keep your holiday display healthy all season long.
Poinsettias are native to Mexico, and if you have ever vacationed to the Mexican coast over the holidays you likely enjoyed warmer temperatures, sunshine, and minimal rainfall. These are the cultural conditions that your poinsettias need to thrive.
Use these three tips as your guide to a successful poinsettia display in your home for the holidays:
1. Don’t overwater it
Poinsettias do not need a lot of water – just enough to keep the soil medium moist. A small bit of room-temperature water every few days should suffice. If you overwater your poinsettia or let it sit in water, it could lead to root rot or wilting.
2. Make sure it has plenty of sunlight
Place your poinsettia in a spot where the plant will get plenty of daylight – preferably near a window. Poinsettias are tropical plants, so they need about 6 hours of indirect sunlight a day to thrive.
3. Be aware of the temperature and humidity
When choosing a place to display your poinsettia, keep the temperature in mind. Do not put your plant outside in the cold temperatures. Try to maintain a temperature between 65 – 70 degrees and be aware that you may have to water your poinsettia more frequently if your house is very dry during the winter months.
By following these simple tips, you can expect to have a healthy, beautiful plant for up to eight weeks, offering you an at-home holiday display to enjoy all season long. Looking for inspiration for your display this year? Be sure to visit Cheekwood this season to experience our Poinsettia Tree on display in the Great Hall of the Frist Learning Center, and don’t miss the Loggia adorned with poinsettias inside the Historic Mansion & Museum.
Written by Peter Grimaldi, VP of Gardens & Facilities