Basic care for poinsettias, the quintessential Christmas plant

One common sight during Christmas is a bright red plant that has large leaves that sport a glossy green and red combo, making it an ideal plant to celebrate the season. These plants are known poinsettias ((Euphorbia pulcherrima) and they are native to Mexico and Guatemala. 

Though perceived by many as a flower, poinsettias are actually small trees. People think they are flower petals because of their red and green combination as well as the white, yellow, pink, blue, and marbled variants that they grow into. 

Now that we’re well into November and slowly inching to December, poinsettias will once again steal the spotlight for many plant enthusiasts who want to bring their own version of Christmas cheer into their homes. 

Fortunately, when properly cared for, poinsettias will produce and maintain lively, colorful leaves. 

When caring for poinsettias, one of the first things to remember is that these plants prefer a temperature of 18 to 21 degrees Celsius, and should be kept away from areas with temperatures below 12.76 degrees. Since these are the temperatures that most people also like, it’s not hard to accommodate poinsettias indoors. 

Poinsettias also prefer moist soil but not wet or damp since these can cause root rot. 

As for watering, these quintessential Christmas plants need to be watered once every week. The basic rule of thumb is to water the plant when the soil feels dry, but it is important that any excess water should be drained from the pot. 

For best results, the plants should also be exposed to bright, indirect sunlight for approximately six hours a day. Avoid letting them sit under direct sunlight because their colorful get their attractive color from a balance of sunshine and darkness. 

Basically, poinsettias are low maintenance plants that offer a vibrant and festive addition to any room. 

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