GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — ‘Tis the season for talking poinsettias.
Just about anyone can keep them alive for a few weeks until the holidays are over, but to really thrive, follow these key tips.
First, of course, is watering. Your poinsettia probably came in a foil wrapper. To water, slip this foil wrapper off and set the plant in the sink. Add water and let the excess drain off before putting it back in the foil. Don’t water again until the top 1” of soil is dry when you stick in your finger.
Next, you want to find the right place for it. Your poinsettia wants bright but indirect light. Rooms that face south or west tend to be the brightest but right up against the window isn’t the best idea. Just find a bright spot that doesn’t get direct light and you’ll be good.
Poinsettias do not like drafts, so keep it away from the cold that rushes in when the front door opens. By the fireplace, space heater or heat vent can be just as bad with the heat drying out the plant.
And that’s it!
Then don’t give up on your poinsettia after the holiday season! When the leaves and bracts begin to fade and droop, cut the plant back and give it a cool, dry home with less light until spring. Then bring it back out into bright sun. It will live happily outside in the summer. Then in August, bring the plant inside.
Give it another trim and find a warm, but dark, location for it to live. Ideally, the poinsettia should receive about 15 hours of complete darkness per day. Keep watering as usual. The darkness will trigger the plant to produce colored bracts for the upcoming holiday season and many more to come!