Tuesday, December 15, 2015


The Poinsettia is the one flower that always signals the beginning of the holiday season, especially in the Bluegrass Region. Right after Thanksgiving, these beautiful flowers beginning showing up in nurseries and florists, grocery stores and discount stores. Here are a few tips to help you pick a healthy plant:

First, choose Poinsettias with stiff stems, good bract retention (the flowering parts) and no signs of wilting, breaking or drooping. Try to avoid Poinsettias that are displayed in plastic or mesh sleeves, or plants that are crowded together on a display shelf. Poinsettias need space and air circulation, so the longer a plant is in a contained sleeve, the faster the quality will deteriorate.
Make sure the plant's soil is not waterlogged because this could mean the plant has irreversible root rot.

When taking a Poinsettia home from the store, protect it was chilling winds and temperatures below 50° F. Cover the plant with a shopping bag to help give added protection.
Once you have your Poinsettia home, here are a few tips to keep it blooming all through the holiday season:

Keep the Poinsettia in indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours daily. Direct sun can not only "burn the leaves" but will also lead to wilting. Try to keep the room temperature constant at about 70° F. Remember, temperatures below 50° F can mean disaster to the plant. One rule of thumb, if you are comfortable in the room, then your Poinsettia will be comfortable.

Do not place Poinsettias near doors or heating systems because they cannot tolerate cold drafts or excessive heat. Water your plant when the soil feels dry to the touch. Don't overwater or allow to sit in standing water. Do not fertilize your Poinsettia when it is in bloom. However, immediately after blooming season, fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer.

After the New Year, I will give you some tips on keeping your Poinsettia for re-blooming next year.

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