A very popular symbol of Christmas is the poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima ) or also called Poinsettia , ponsetia, Christmas plant , as it has very suitable colors for this time since its leaves are green and red in intense tones. Christmas is the perfect time to grow this plant at home, as it is when they bloom, but we can also learn to take care of it and thus keep it at home throughout the year so that in the next Christmas season it will bloom again.
In this article, we discuss poinsettia care and we hope that this simple guide will be of great help to you to take care of it all year round.
How to care for the poinsettia
The Poinsettia , poinsettia or Christmas plant is one of the typical Christmas flowers and plants , but not only does it last at Christmas time, but it can last from one year to the next with the correct care. This is a summary of basic care (we offer a more complete and practical guide later).
- For it to grow healthy and strong, it is necessary to place this plant in a well-lit place , but not directly in the sun, since if it were, it would be removed.
- The poinsettia plant withstands low temperatures well, but not frost, so it is ideal as an indoor plant , although it can be outdoors in places where there are no frosts.
- Humidity is an important factor in the development of this plant. For this it is very important to create a humid environment around the plant, but avoiding that it has direct contact with water, so it is advisable to spray water around it.
- The waterings must be constant, especially when we notice that the earth begins to stay dry.
- As soon as flowering occurs, the frequency of watering should be reduced, since this way the plant rests and gains strength for the next flowering.
- During the flowering season , it is also very important to fertilize the soil so that it flourishes well. The liquid fertilizer is suitable for the poinsettia plant and must be incorporated with watering approximately every 15 days.
- Avoid any friction or blow that could break any part of the plant, especially during the flowering season.
- It is also important to place the plant in a clean environment , since poor air quality can cause its leaves to dry out or wrinkle.
Next, we are going to comment in more detail on how to care for the poinsettia , paying more attention to each aspect of the care of the poinsettia or Christmas flower.
Where to place the poinsettia
It should be located in a place with abundant luminosity , since the leaves will end up falling in case of not having enough light for a long time. It is also very important that the plant is not exposed to drafts or is located very close to a stove or radiator, since excess humidity damages it (just spray). If your home is in a cold climate area, it is advisable to have the poinsettia inside the house.
Watering the poinsettia
A substrate must always be maintained with a certain degree of humidity, preventing it from drying out, but without flooding excessively. When watering in a pot, the flowers or leaves should not be wet. A good irrigation method for this plant is immersion irrigation , which consists of placing the plant in a bowl or plate of not too cold water and leaving it for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes have elapsed, remove it and drain the excess water.
Christmas flower pruning
When should the poinsettia be pruned? The best time to prune will be when the plant runs out of leaves , which usually happens at the end of January. In this process, the stems must be cut until they are about 10 cm long and the wound sealed with wax from a melted candle or some product that helps to heal the wound. For pruning, it is recommended to wear gloves, because they have an irritating latex for the skin and mucous membranes.
Poinsettia resting in winter
It is best to place the plant in a place away from heating or outside but somewhat sheltered until the spring season begins . During this time you will have to continue watering the Christmas plant, although more widely in time.
Transplanting the poinsettia
When spring arrives , it is convenient to transplant the plant to a larger pot , in order to renew its substrate for a higher quality one. From its stems our plant will begin to develop. We can improve this process by providing extra nutrients through a fertilizer.
The flowering of the Christmas plant
The poinsettia plant usually blooms during the month of December , when it fills with its characteristic red leaves . For this, it is necessary that already from the end or beginning of October they spend between 12 and 14 days in total darkness, covering the plant with a thick cardboard, a dark plastic or a protective hood covered with aluminum foil during the afternoon-night.
Caring for the poinsettia to bloom
In order for the Poinsettia , Christmas plant or poinsettia flower to flourish, it is necessary to meet all the requirements of its care to cover its needs and make sure it is healthy. Therefore, you can follow these tips to make the poinsettia bloom and see its small flowers and its characteristic red leaves in full splendor.
- Make sure you have it at a suitable temperature, away from drafts or heat that can dry out its environment.
- Keep your environment with some humidity, spraying water on the surface of your land and around it, without getting the leaves too wet, you will achieve it.
- Remember to prune the Christmas plant to keep it healthy and that, thus, your efforts are focused on developing the healthy parts, avoiding fatigue the plant with half-dry or diseased branches and leaves. By allowing you to focus your energy on growth and development, you will be able to flourish much better.
- We recommend that a short time before flowering begins, when the plant is already preparing for it, you apply flowering fertilizer or fertilizer rich in phosphorus on its soil.
- Don’t transplant her when she is near flowering or just at that time.
Why does the poinsettia die
A Poinsettia or Christmas plant at home can be dying for various reasons, from which we deduce that the problem is that we do not cover its care needs well. The main reasons are over-watering, under-watering, pests and diseases, and over-or under-natural light. Take note of these tips to know what to do in each case:
- If your poinsettia has flabby or soft leaves , it is a sign that it is dying from too much water . If you see the poinsettia with withered leaves, try to change the soil as soon as possible to provide a mixture of part of yours with a new and drier one and wait until it begins to recover before watering it again.
- If you see that its green and red leaves and its stems turn brown or yellowish and dry, it is because it lacks water . Water it as soon as possible and add more nutrients to the soil.
- If you only see part of the yellow or brown leaves you may have too much exposure to strong sunlight. In this case, find a semi-shady spot to place it.
- In case you see that its leaves are darker than normal and that it is decayed, it is likely that it lacks natural light . To improve its condition, find a place closer to a window or outside for more natural light.
- If you see white parts, brown spots, spots that indicate pests (black, brown, red, yellow, green …), etc., it may be that your plant has a pest or disease , such as aphids or fungi.
Therefore, if you wonder how to recover a poinsettia , keep in mind that first you will have to take into account all these aspects to detect the cause of it being sick or dying and, thus, you can solve the problem. For example, if you detect which pest is attacking it, you can treat it, if you see that the land is flooded due to excess irrigation, you can change the land for a dry and adequate one, if it is burning due to excess sun, you will only have to locate it in an area of semi-shade or shade, etc.
Curiosities and characteristics of the poinsettia
After discovering all this about the care of the Christmas or Easter flower , we want to comment on some of the characteristics and curiosities of this Christmas plant. Among the curiosities of the poinsettia, Poinsettia or Christmas flower are:
- Although the poinsettia is widespread in many countries around the world, it is a plant native to Mexico .
- Its red color stands out in its bracts , specialized protective leaves, and not in its flowers, which are yellow.
- It is a plant for warm climates , although it can also be grown in cold climates, but in such a case it must always be indoors.
- It is a deciduous plant.
- It can become a bush up to 15 meters .
- Although it is a very decorative ornamental plant and we like to have it in view, it must be located in a safe place. This plant can be very toxic to children and pets , so you have to try not to leave it within their reach.
- Sometimes its leaves turn pale.
- If you ask yourself ” what to do with the poinsettia when the leaves fall off? “, Remember that first you will have to make sure that it is not sick and once you are clear that it is not in bad condition, keep in mind that this plant can stay with this aspect but it will continue to live, so you can continue taking care of it and thus you will see how it continues to grow, it will grow leaves again and it will be able to accompany you for many Christmases.