‘I’m a houseplant expert – here’s how to keep your blooming poinsettia alive for years’

‘I’m a houseplant expert – here’s how to keep your blooming poinsettia alive for years’

Poinsettias are one of the world’s most popular festive plants, with millions of people inviting them into their homes throughout Christmas.

Whilst the houseplant is known for making wonderful displays, they can be a little tricky to care for, especially if there is minimal light and the heating is on.

Gardening expert and director of Easy Garden Irrigation, Sean Lade, said: “Poinsettias are very common around Christmas with their dark green leaves and large strikingly red bracts (leaves around the flowers).

“Nothing gets you more into the Christmas mood than a poinsettia, at least in the plant world.

“As lovely as they are, poinsettias are challenging to keep. They are susceptible to fluctuations in temperature and will quickly start to wilt if kept too cold or in a draught.

“When buying one, you should look for those stored indoors, as when displayed outdoors below 13C, they are likely on their way out before they can get back home.”

According to the expert, even a quick walk from the shop to the car is enough to harm the plant if it is too cold.

Once the poinsettia plant is home, it is crucial to avoid any draughty spots and radiators.

The gardening pro continued: “Water once the top of the soil feels dry, but don’t let it fully dry out, they also like plenty of bright daylight.

“If your poinsettia managed to make its way through the Christmas holiday, pat yourself on the back, you did well.

“If you plan to keep it until next Christmas, consider some things. During January or February, they will naturally drop their leaves.

“Keep it in a bright spot and start trimming the plant to encourage side branching.”

Common symptoms of an overwatered poinsettia include yellowing or brown leaves as well as wilt in severe cases.

Misting plants can help to increase their humidity levels as well as prevent overwatering.

It only takes a couple of minutes and should be performed in the morning to allow them to dry out during the day.

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Author: Shirley