Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Poinsettia Plant Care & Selection

 
What better way to decorate for Christmas than by adding a festive poinsettia plant to your holiday decor? These plants come in many colors and sizes and will surely add to your Christmas spirit.

Poinsettia plants are clearly one of the most popular Christmas plants available today. It's no surprise. The plant provides a beautiful Christmas flower and has been admired in the United States since Joel Poinsett brought the plant into the country from Mexico the early 1800's.

Contrary to popular myths and urban legends, poinsettias are not poisonous to children or pets, however, the sap can cause some minor skin irritation to some people. These plants have been widely tested for toxins, and are proven to be safe -- but it's still not recommended to eat one!

Choosing A Plant
 
With so many varieties available, you should have no problem finding one that's right for you. When shopping for your poinsettia, select the one with the most blooms. These are the most valuable of plants. Look for dark green plants and don't buy one that has it's leaves falling off. This indicates that it is old, and not very healthy.
 
Caring For Your Poinsettia

    If you are one of those who like to purchase a poinsettia every year for the holidays, you should know some basic care for the plant.

1) These plants are very sensitive, so don't expose it to extreme temperatures. Always cover them in plastic when transporting them in cold weather, and keep them away from drafts and heat sources.

2) Place the plant in filtered/indirect sunlight for about 6 hours a day. If it is not Autumn, you can keep it in relative darkness for the rest of the day and eventually, it will think it is Fall -- thus it will begin blooming.

3) Water the plant only when the soil is dry. To avoid root-rot, utilize drain holes.

4) Repot the plant as it grows and add fertilizer after the blooming season.

5) You can place poinsettias outdoors when the average low temperature does not fall below 65°.

If you don't have a green thumb, consider one of the silk varieties available today. While it's not the real deal, it's the next best thing.
   
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