Poinsettia Care Guide

The most popular houseplant this time of year is the Euphorbia pulcherrima or poinsettia. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and are relatively easy to care for. They are one of the most popular potted flowers in the United States.

Plant Care
Poinsettias prefer a sunny location away from cold drafts or heaters, in a room between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the soil daily to see if the plant needs water. When the soil feels dry to the touch, water the plant thoroughly. Be careful not to over-water. A good way to avoid doing this is to water the plant in the sink without a saucer or foil wrap and let the excess water drain.

Year-Long Care
Some people chose to discard their poinsettias after Christmas season. Follow these steps to keep your poinsettia going all year-long and to bloom again the following year.

In May, cut your plant back to about 3 to 6 inches tall and split the plant if needed. Begin to fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks. The plant can be moved outside during the summer. You will need to pinch back your steps to create a fuller plant around July. Poinsettias are “shortday” plants and receive less than 12 hours of sunlight for 8-10 weeks. You need to have your plant on a shortday schedule in early October for holiday color.

Toxicity 
I’ve always heard that poinsettias are poisonous to dogs but according to this guide, studies have shown that the leaves, stems and flowers are not toxic to people or pets.

View the full care guide from Iowa State University, University Extension, here.

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Checkout this enormous poinsettia tree located at Mulhalls in Omaha, NE.

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Lots of options of different colors.

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Poinsettias for days.

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Do you have good luck with poinsettias? I’ve noticed that I really need to stay on top of watering mine. Often times they need watered more than once per week.

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