No flower says Christmas more than the Poinsettia! Poinsettias are renowned for their colourful bracts (often mistaken for flower petals but they are in fact a form of leaf.) The flowers are actually tiny and found within the small yellow buds at the centre of each set of bracts.
Poinsettias have a reputation as being hard to look after and are often disposed of once they start to fade. However, with a little care, you can keep them all year and the bracts will colour up again the following Christmas.
Just follow these simple steps to extend the life of your Poinsettia:
- 1. When purchasing your Poinsettia select a plant that looks full and well balanced. Do not choose a plant that shows signs of drooping or wilting as this can often be irreversible (here at Perrywood our poinsettias are cared for lovingly within our houseplant greenhouse at a regulated temperature)
- 2. Once home you will need to unwrap your plant as soon as possible as the stems can droop and twist if left wrapped for too long.
- 3. Place your Poinsettia near a bright windowsill, avoiding direct sunlight. Avoid warm or cold draughts so keep them away from radiators and open doorways and do not let any part of your poinsettia touch cold window panes.
- 4. Poinsettias require a steady daytime temperature of 15-20°c and cooler night time temperature of 13-15°c.
- 5. Do not over-water. Wait until the surface of the compost begins to dry out before you consider watering and never allow your plant to sit in water afterwards as this can lead to root rot.
- 6. The flowering life of plants is extended by humidity, so mist regularly and feed monthly with a low nitrogen, high potassium fertiliser.