Nothing speaks Christmas like a Poinsettia. Here at Dunvegan we have double and single blooms with their dark red flower bracts to the white and pink varieties. All are beautiful!
In the north, make sure your Poinsettia is wrapped before you take it out of the store, they do not like cold or hot drafts. If the flowers get cold or frozen at all, the leaves will start dropping off. Upon getting your Poinsettia home, unwrap it and place it in a sunny or bright window, making sure it will not get a cold draft by being too close to the window and not over a heat vent. Place the plant out of pets, they are mildly toxic to cats and dogs. They will last the best if the temperature is between 18- 22 degrees.
Water the plant only when it is dry to the touch and discard any excess water after 10 minutes. Healthy Poinsettias will last well through the holiday season. If you want to winter it over for next year, here is what you do:
- December Full bloom. Water as needed.
- April Color fades. Keep near a sunny window and fertilize when new growth appears. Cut back stems to about 20 cm.
- June 1 Repot if necessary. Fertilize with a balanced formula 20-20-20. Continue to water when dry to touch. Move outside if temperatures do not fall below 10°C. Place in light shade.
- Late August Take inside. Cut stems back, leaving three or four leaves per shoot. Sunny window. Water and fertilize as needed.
- Sept 20 -Dec 1 Keep in light only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Put into the dark (NO LIGHTS) 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.
To Ensure Success you have to follow the light/dark instructions carefully.