What is a Poinsettia?
What is a poinsettia, and can a poinsettia live outside? These are common questions that you may ask about poinsettias. Poinsettias are a popular holiday plant native to Mexico and are members of the Euphorbia family (leaves). What does the poinsettia represent during the holidays?
Poinsettias represent the Christmas season in many nations. They blend in perfectly with the festive colors because they are frequently red and green. They define success, happiness, and cheer.
Can a Poinsettia Live Outside?
Can you put poinsettias outside? Yes, poinsettias can grow outdoors. These colorful Christmas favorites can grow to 10 feet (3 meters) shrubs with the proper planting conditions, location, and care. Suppose your potted holiday plant is what you wonder about growing poinsettias outside. In that case, you must start taking care of it as soon as you receive it.
When the soil on your potted poinsettia begins to dry, water it and place it somewhere sunny in your house, shielding it from the wind. You must locate a location with comparable characteristics before you begin planting poinsettia outdoors.
Outdoor poinsettia plants require a sunny spot to call home, away from strong winds that can quickly destroy them. Pick a location with slightly acidic, well-draining soil when growing poinsettia plants outdoors. To prevent root rot, make sure it drains properly.
After Christmas, avoid moving poinsettia plants outside. Trim the bushes back to two buds once all the leaves wither away and keep them in a bright area. Once there is no chance of frost, you can plant poinsettias outdoors.
How to Keep a Poinsettia Alive (Outside)
Can poinsettia be outside? Outdoor poinsettia plant maintenance doesn’t take much effort or time. Start a routine feeding and watering schedule as soon as you notice green shoots in the spring. If you decide to use fertilizer, you can add it to the watering can weekly. Alternatively, utilize springtime slow-release pellets.
Outdoor poinsettia plants frequently have tall, lanky growth. Trim regularly to avoid this—a bushier plant results from pinching back the tips of new growth, although the bracts are smaller.
Do Poinsettias Need Sun?
Are poinsettias inside or outside plants, and do they need sun? Poinsettias need at least six hours of sunshine each day, and they can grow both outside and inside. They prefer temperatures between 131 and 149 degrees Fahrenheit (55 and 65 degrees Celsius) at night, and during the day, 149 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit (65 to 70 degrees Celsius)
What you Should Know About Planting Poinsettias
The poinsettia, native to Mexico, blooms in December and January and is the perfect Christmas decoration for the home—aside from the Christmas tree.
Poinsettias aren’t as tough to care for as people think. You can use your poinsettia as a cut flower when Christmas is gone, throw it in the recycling bin or the compost, or you can try to coax it to bloom the following year again.
The red poinsettia plant is the most generally available. Still, over the past few decades, specialized poinsettia breeders have worked diligently to produce more than 150 distinct types, including stunning pinks, oranges, creams, and whites. Warm-toned poinsettias, such as those in apricot, rose, pink, or salmon, brighten houses as early as October.
The red poinsettias sell the best, followed by white and cream-colored variations. Then come poinsettias of the pink kind, along with bicolored and speckled cultivars.
People refer to poinsettias as Christmas Stars in many different languages because of their star-shaped leaf bracts, including Stella di Natale in Italian and Weihnachtsstern in German. They are also known as the flowers of the holy night in Mexico.
The poinsettia’s enormous, vibrant bracts, which are leaves rather than flower petals, are sometimes misinterpreted as petals. In reality, the blooms are the cyathia, or little yellow berry-like formations, found in the center of each leaf bract.
There’s a misconception that poinsettias are difficult to care for. Still, with these guidelines, you can keep your plant flourishing throughout the holiday season.
Golden Rules for Caring for Poinsettias
Buying Your Poinsettia
- Several supermarkets mix poinsettias with other flowers to lure visitors entering or leaving the store and place them by the front door. However, you shouldn’t purchase a poinsettia near a set of automatic doors that open every 30 seconds because UK winds will destroy the flowers.
Damage will occur if you expose them to a draft or temperatures below 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). It may cause the poinsettia to lose its leaves soon after arriving home, even though it is initially invisible.
- Bracts on a healthy poinsettia plant will be whole. The poinsettia plant’s quality will be apparent if the real blooms, the little yellow buds between the colored bracts, still appear tight.
- If you can, inspect the soil before purchasing. It shouldn’t be dripping wet or completely dry; if it is, it has likely not received the right TLC and might not withstand your care.
- To ensure sufficient oxygen reaches the roots, poinsettias require soil with an ideal PH range of 5.8 to 6.2, employing a ratio of three parts dirt to one part grit. You can keep the poinsettia in the pot you originally purchased because most don’t require repotting over the winter.
- Once you pick and purchase your poinsettia, wrap it in paper before taking it home to keep it safe from drafts and temperatures below 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius). Because poinsettias are delicate plants, taking extra care will shield them from harm that is at first invisible but may later cause premature leaf loss. Read our article and find out What Temperature Is Too Cold For Plants?
Taking Care of a Poinsettia Plant
- Poinsettias dislike excessive amounts of water. Never forget that the plant’s root ball shouldn’t dry or become wet. Overwatering can soon produce waterlogging, resulting in root rot and a dead houseplant for you to deal with.
- You should make it a habit to look at its leaves. You’re probably not watering it properly if they’re turning yellow or dropping off.
- Water your poinsettia plant when the soil is drying. This could be every day in a plant near a radiator in a dry room, but in other locations, it might only be every second or third day. How do you test? Lift the plant gently; if it seems light, it needs water.
Every day, check on your mini poinsettias. You can also soak these plants below, which will saturate the soil more thoroughly than regular watering (one dip per week should do).
- You need to water smaller pots more frequently than large ones because they dry out more quickly, and poinsettias prefer room temperature water. Give a conventional 5.1 inches (13 centimeters) diameter pot little more than a small glass, or about 0.05 gallons (0.2 liters), of water to avoid clogging and waterlogging of the soil’s wide pores.
You shouldn’t supply more than one shot glass of water to little poinsettias. After 10 minutes, drain any extra water left in the planter.
- If in doubt, it’s advisable to keep poinsettias somewhat drier (as opposed to overly damp) and to water them often but infrequently rather than never or occasionally.
According to poinsettia experts, “Poinsettias are exceptionally long-lasting when you fertilize them once a week. This should start about four weeks after purchase, using a commercial liquid fertilizer for flowering houseplants in the dosage recommended on the container.”
- Remember that poinsettias prefer humid environments, so mist them frequently if you place one in a room with the central heating on high.
How to Keep Poinsettias at the Proper Temperature
- Poinsettias want sunshine and warmth. Avoid draughts (no fireplaces, open doorways, windows, or open hallways). This plant may lose leaves if the air is too dry. Try to position poinsettias in a protected area.
- Where do poinsettias grow? For the plant to develop and thrive, there must be enough light (poinsettias prefer a light spot rather than full shade). It’s generally ideal for keeping plants out of direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn. Still, this shouldn’t be an issue in the winter, so that you may put your poinsettia plant beside a south-facing window.
Poinsettias After Christmas
- You need to prune the poinsettia in April to a height of around 4 inches (10 centimeters). You should keep it at a temperature of 55.4 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) to guarantee it survives until the following year. Repot it in May and cultivate it in a cool, bright location over the summer.
- It’s time to start pushing the plant when November rolls around. According to scientists, “it will need 12 hours of bright daylight. After that, 12 hours of total darkness should follow to alert it to the shorter days of winter, which will encourage the red blossoms to flourish.”
Poinsettia Care Year Round Explained
Mexican natural plants include poinsettias. Due to their short day length and need for long nights to initiate their color shift, they flourish over the holiday season. These plants have colorful bracts, which are leaves, not flowers, with red being the most typical bract color.
The bracts’ red or green buttons in the middle are the flower buds, which open to reveal a little yellow flower. Healthy poinsettias have foliage down to the base and dark green leaves beneath the bracts. Your poinsettia can revitalize your home for months if you give them the proper attention and care. Observe these suggestions.
- A minimum of 6 hours of sunshine is a daily requirement for poinsettias.
- When moving the plants, in particular, protect them from freezing conditions. Please put them in a well-lit area that is free from drafts. They prefer temperatures between 131 and 149 degrees Fahrenheit (55 and 65 degrees Celsius) at night and 149 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit (65 to 70 degrees Celsius) during the day. You should not keep poinsettias in chilly areas.
- When the soil is dry 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 centimeters) down, water poinsettias, the plants are quite susceptible to overwatering. If kept too wet, root rot will appear soon. Thoroughly wet the pot, letting extra water run off into the sink.
- To keep plants healthy throughout the holidays, apply an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer once a week. Reduce watering and fertilizer once the bright bracts have fallen off to give the plants time to recover. Just a few leaves should remain when you prune the poinsettia.
- You can keep poinsettia bracts alive with the right care until March or April. The plant will look like a stick for the first few weeks. It will begin to leaf out again in May if you continue to water and fertilize it.
- When the risk of a freeze has passed in the spring, You can move poinsettias outside for an intriguing, uncommon outdoor plant. You can use the plant all summer long if you place it in a shaded area.
- Cut the plant back in mid-July and early September to encourage branching if you want to keep it small and compact.
- Put the plant in complete darkness as soon as the sun goes down, starting on October 1st, giving at least 14 hours of darkness. You can cover the plant with a bag or leave it in a closet all day. It will begin to turn color by the end of November, allowing you to enjoy it for another season.
How to Choose the Best Poinsettia
Because they typically begin to lose their vividly colored bracts and look sparse soon after the holidays are over, poinsettias may appear short-lived. However, today’s varieties last much longer than they did even a few years ago. Some can maintain their color for several months instead of just a few.
When choosing poinsettias to include in your holiday decorations, seek plants with healthy, green leaves; they shouldn’t be curling, brown, or falling off the lower stem. Check the actual blooms that are in the bracts’ centers as well. Although they are tiny, you want securely wrapped poinsettias that don’t yet have any yellow pollen visible if you want them to endure a long time.
Before purchasing, inspect the plant with a complete, almost bush-like shape by examining it from all angles. It’s a good idea to check again for pests. Take a quick look under the plant’s leaves to ensure there are no pests because whiteflies and aphids might occasionally appear in the greenhouse.
Once you’ve chosen your plants, be cautious to transport them safely to your home. Since poinsettias are tropical plants native to southern Mexico and Central America, you should wrap them up before exposing them to the cold air.
Take them home; don’t leave them in a cold car for longer than necessary because they might start shedding leaves.
The Different Types of Poinsettias
Though there are well over 100 different types of poinsettias, you rarely find such a dizzying array of options in shops. Here are some poinsettias you’ll probably encounter most frequently during Christmas.
The most common plants during this time of year have bright red bracts. Still, you can find many other festive hues, including pink, white, orange, yellow, and even purple.
Beautiful two-tone bracts on these plants typically have a darker color, like red or pink, in the center and fade to a lighter color, like yellow or cream, along the edges.
These kinds, also known as glitter poinsettias, typically have bracts that are a single solid color, such as red or pink, with white or cream dots and splotches. Alongside traditional, all-red poinsettias, these plants are particularly striking.
Rose poinsettias have bracts that slightly curl back and under in place of the linear, pointed bracts we keep seeing. This gives them the appearance of clusters of fully-bloomed roses. The traditional poinsettia red color is the one you’re most likely to encounter. Still, there are also varieties with white and pink rose-shaped bracts.
Euphorbia Rinehart Code 619
This poinsettia fares much better when you give it extra care and attention, enabling it to develop and thrive brilliantly for the entire time you have it. It has erect, bright-white petals and adaption for cooler temperatures.
Euphorbia Rinehart Code
This poinsettia is a robust, showy variety with strong, upright branches and vibrant, striking petals. This variety of Euphorbia Rinehart Code thrives significantly better when you give it proper care and attention while it is in your possession, just like other varieties do.
The petals of the Freedom Marble have a light greenish-white color with raspberry-colored streaks running through the center of each one. The petals stand out amid the other poinsettias thanks to the color combination, which gives it a marbled appearance.
This particular variety of poinsettia features distinctive creamy-white petals with wide, vivid crimson trim—small yellow blooms cluster in the middle. The petals are less closely packed than other varieties of poinsettias, giving them a “devil may care” air. Its scalloped and veined dark-green leaves complement the flower’s lovely petals well.
This poinsettia features petals that are a very unusual shade of pink and also a vivid orange-red color that fades in and out. This gives the impression that it has more than one color in its petals. You’ll want to keep this plant around for as long as possible because of how well its huge, grass-green leaves match its pink hues.
Luv U Pink
A particularly beautiful poinsettia, its prodigious numbers of bright-pink petals are real head-turners. Everyone who sees this plant adores it, even those whose favorite hue isn’t pink. It has complementary huge, dark-green leaves that bring out the color of the petals.
Each of the Monet’s robust, oblong petals is a gorgeous shade of pink with dark-pink flushes all around. Like other poinsettias, this one has lovely yellow blooms in the center that are relatively small, and the tall, dark-green foliage makes the pink petals stand out more.
Not only does this poinsettia stand out because it only uses one color, but also because that hue is a fiery, eye-catching orange. Feel free to make it the focal point of your table or mantle since it is a stunning plant that looks excellent with its huge, dark-green leaves.
This poinsettia is stunning and sophisticated-looking, with a creamy-white trim and a soft-pink center streak. The Peterstar Marble is what you want if you want something a little understated yet still commands attention.
The Polar Bear’s petals are simply one hue, a lovely creamy white-yellow that gives the flower a fragile appearance. If you’re looking for a plant with a stunning and uniform appearance, this is it. The small yellow blooms in the middle match the petals nicely.
This remarkable plant has vivid red flowers with creamy yellow spots, making it a true eye-catcher. If you’re searching for something that exudes Christmas yet is a touch odd and unique, this is it. Its grass-green leaves look simply stunning next to its petals.
Strawberries and Cream
Their grass-green foliage looks lovely next to their magnificent rose-pink petals, which have raspberry-colored veins running through them. The plant gives your dining room table, mantle, or fireplace a remarkable appearance.
Visions of Grandeur
These poinsettias come in gentle hues like pink, cream, and yellow. They have very soft, graceful petals that resemble huge roses. Its big, emerald-green foliage looks stunning in a home with a French or country design and wonderfully accents the flowers. For added appeal, you can position these plants close to other white or winter-white plants.
Winter Rose Dark Red
This plant features dark-green leaves nearly burgundy in color and green blossoms in the center. Suppose you’re searching for a plant to put you in the holiday spirit. In that case, this is unquestionably one to take into account.
Winter Rose Red
This poinsettia, which resembles a geranium or rose and has wavy bright-red petals, definitely lives up to its name. If you line the pot with materials like gold or silver, the large, dark-green leaves and the vivid hue of red make this the ideal Christmas decoration.
Winter Rose White
This poinsettia is lovely and can blend in with any other plant you place next to it because of its creamy-white color and bright-green leaves. The plant is certain to make the space appear lively and happy; pair it with red or dark-pink poinsettias for an exceptionally lovely look.
Euphorbia Hera Red
This plant is ideal for larger pot sizes because of its bright-red color and modest vigor. Because of the strength of the stems and their V-shape, there is less chance of stem breakage. This plant blooms in late November and lives for another eight weeks, giving it great shelf life.
The Bottom Line
Although poinsettias are a lovely standalone decoration, they have many other festive applications. You can use them to dress up a Christmas tree with some poinsettia blooms tucked among the branches or create a magnificent garland that winds around banisters and up staircases.
Additionally, they make unique wreaths and a lovely centerpiece for the Christmas dinner table.
Many poinsettia-themed home accents, including tree picks, wreaths, and garlands, are readily available. Do you love the beauty that comes with poinsettias? Plant an outdoor poinsettia today!