Originating from Mexico, the Poinsettia has become synonymous with Christmas, but with care will last until Easter and beyond. The yellow flowers are small, but are outshone by the vibrant clusters of bright red bracts. More recent cultivars can have pink or creamy white bracts, or variegated pink and white bracts.
The Poinsettia does not like sudden changes in temperature, so do not buy one that has been displayed in a cold or draughty shop (or market stall) as its red bracts will drop soon after you get it home. It enjoys a warmer climate so avoid temperatures below 55F (13C), which should be fine for indoors. Try to keep it away from draughts and, although it enjoys good light, try to avoid direct sunlight, especially through glass, as this increases the temperature and can burn the flowers and bracts.
Overwatering will cause the leaves to turn yellow. Wait until the surface of the compost begins to dry to the touch then water thoroughly but do not leave the plant standing in the water which has drained off as this will become cold and cause leaf drop. If possible, keep the pot on a watered pebble tray to create a humid atmosphere. This will prolong the life of the red bracts and help to stop the leaves from dropping. Feed with a proprietary flowering food every time you water the plant in its flowering season.
Pests And Diseases
The plant is vulnerable to attack by whiteflies, attracted through stress if the plant is left in direct sunlight.Grey mould (botrytis) or root rot if conditions are too wet. If the leaves are wilting, water it at once and it should soon revive, but ensure there is sufficient drainage too avoid root rot.
How To Buy
If you would like to buy good quality plants directly from the greenhouses and delivered to your door, please call me:
Estelle – 07956 371405