Evangelon James column:

Poinsettia perfection

By Evangelon James
Posted 12/21/19

Poinsettia Perfection

It is yet again that time of the year where everything becomes both holly and jolly … and whether you’re the person who has their home decorated before Thanksgiving or the one dodging the Christmas party at work, I think we can all agree poinsettias are a great decoration that truly embodies the Christmas spirit!

But wait … How do you know which pointsets to pick out? How do you take care of it after you bring the thing back to your house? And hey, if you’re like me, then you’re not made of money … is there any hope of finding poinsettias at a cheaper price?

Well on this lovely Christmas edition, I shall answer all of these questions and more, read on my friend!

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Evangelon James column:

Poinsettia perfection

Posted


It is yet again that time of the year where everything becomes both holly and jolly … and whether you’re the person who has their home decorated before Thanksgiving or the one dodging the Christmas party at work, I think we can all agree poinsettias are a great decoration that truly embodies the Christmas spirit!
But wait … How do you know which pointsets to pick out? How do you take care of it after you bring the thing back to your house? And hey, if you’re like me, then you’re not made of money … is there any hope of finding poinsettias at a cheaper price?
Well on this lovely Christmas edition, I shall answer all of these questions and more, read on my friend!

For the most part, when you go to the store to pick out a poinsettia, they all look pretty healthy but there are some key traits to look out for. Start off by checking to see if the leaves are dark green, then look underneath them to scout for bugs or signs of bug damage.
As for finding a deal, make a pit stop at the sales rack. The other day I was able to purchase a $6 poinsettia for only $1. ! What was wrong with it? Virtually nothing, the leaves were drooping and after watering, the plant was looking good as new the next day. So, you get a great deal and you also feel like you outsmarted the system by getting a perfectly good plant for so cheap. And don’t forget, poinsettias come in a large variety of colors. There are actually more than 100 different varieties showcasing a poinsettia’s bracts (leaf-like petals) in many different ways.

OK, so you have your new plant. Now you’re worried you might kill it like every other plant that has ever graced your home. Well, that ends today!
First, let’s talk temperature; since poinsettias are a Christmas plant, I always assumed they love the cold Well, I assumed wrong. It’s actually the opposite. They prefer temperatures of over 50 degrees.
As for water, be sure to keep your plant hydrated, you can tell it’s time for some watering when your poinsettias soil surface is dry and the plant feels light when lifted. Also, while you’re at it, go ahead and pull off (or punch holes in) the shiny paper or foil that surrounds your pot. Yes, it looks festive, but there’s nothing festive about your plant drowning because the foil blocked the pots drainage holes. When it comes to fertilizing, your plant should be fine until after Christmas because distributers usually apply enough fertilizer to last about 30 days, which thankfully gives you one less thing to worry about this busy holiday season. Now poinsettias originate from Mexico and love light so be sure to give them at least six hours a day.
And finally, no, they are not toxic to animals. This is actually an old persistent wives’ tale that originated in the 1920s. Who knew? Not me until about five minutes ago, when I was doing some extra research!

So this holiday season, be sure to add a poinsettia to your Christmas list. It’s a great way to brighten up your home and spread some Christmas cheer … or get your neighbors off your back about decorating if you’re not the holly and jolly type. Regardless, happy holidays and happy gardening!
https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/12/poinsettias-go-beyond-red-this-christmas/
https://extension.umn.edu/house-plants/poinsettia
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/poinsettia/care.cfm
https://extension.psu.edu/poinsettias

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