Nothing says Christmas like live, potted poinsettias, placed strategically around your home to add a touch of the season. At our house typically we like to place a couple on the mantel above the fireplace in our living room and on our buffet cabinet in the dining room. Usually it is a spur of the moment purchase, we are at the store, see the plants and think, “Those would look nice.” We place the plants and do a little watering and once Christmas is over, the plants get tossed. Well with a little coddling and the right planter, you can keep these beautiful flowers all year round.
The first thing I learned is that a poinsettia is actually a tropical plant! Why they are so popular at Christmastime beats me, but when you are out making your poinsettia purchase during the Holiday season, take special care to protect the plant from the elements, especially the cold. They are extremely sensitive to cold temperatures and even the slightest exposure to cold can damage your newly purchased plant. The optimal daytime temperature for a poinsettia is anywhere from 60-70° and night time temps of 55°. Not only do poinsettia’s react poorly to extreme cold, extreme heat can damage your plant too. Take care to place the plant away from cold windows, (touching these can damage the leaves and flowers) and also keep it away from hot places. So when I was putting mine next to our fireplace, I was likely causing the plants to die prematurely!
If you wish your poinsettia to live past it’s holiday decorating life, re-potting the plant when you arrive home is key. The pot’s that the plants are usually sold in are too small. What better way to make a statement than potting your plant a unique, beautiful brass and iron planters such as those below? Use standard potting soil and make sure that there is a light layer of pebbles at the bottom of the pot. You don’t want the root ball to be sitting in standing water.
Once you’ve re-potted your plant, check the soil daily. Only water the plant when the top layer of soil is dry. It’s better to water less than too much. Poinsettias don’t do well with over watering. If you intend to keep your plant past the holiday season, fertilize it monthly with a houseplant fertilizer when it is not in bloom.
For more information on how to care for your poinsettia especially after the holiday season, check out this from the web on caring for your poinsettia.