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Poinsettia News and Care Tips

Happy National Poinsettia Day, everyone!  And to honor the occasion, how about some poinsettia news and tips on their care?

In news, poinsettias last longer today than ever before, thanks to the introduction of new hybrid varieties.  New varieties in white, pink and marbled colors abound.  Plus, spray-painted options come in every imaginable color.

If they’re properly cared for, the poinsettias available today will last up to 6 to 8 weeks.  These tips for accomplishing that are in line with the best practices recommended by the University of Maryland.

Poinsettias in a traditional display at Longwood gardens.

Care of Poinsettias

  • Keep poinsettias someplace with temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees.
  • Keep them away from drafts from heat vents, doors or windows.  Drafts will cause leaf and flower drop.
  • Place the poinsettias where they receive bright natural light, but no direct sunlight.  Direct sunlight will cause leaves to yellow and flowers (actually, bracts) to drop.
  • Best artificial light for poinsettias are cool white fluorescent bulbs.
  • Check the soil moisture daily and water plants only when the potting medium is DRY.

For a Second Season

After the holidays are over, it IS possible to make poinsettias last for a second year, though the size and quality of the second year’s display probably won’t be as good. Click here for instructions in what that source refers to a “fussy, exacting process.”  So, you’re warned!

Posted by Susan Harris.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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