Poinsettia: how to survive Christmas

The poinsettia can survive Christmas

Survive the Christmas It is already a challenge for our pockets, for our diet, for our digestions, our sleep, patience, hangovers, emotions ... And it would continue. But it is that all that is nothing compared to the authentic adventure that the Poinsettia, that plant with red leaves that has become one of the botanical symbols of Christmas and that, generally, does not manage to survive it.

But it is because we do not know it, even if we invite it to our homes for Christmas year after year, like nougat. Do you want a Long-lasting poinsettia? Know which one offers you the best guarantee of survival? Would you like to know the Christmas Plant care? It is enough to get a little closer to her and her needs. Remember that It is not just another ornament, it is a living being, which can become a great plant if we let it grow, stay home after Christmas and be able to say: hey, my plant with red leaves survived Christmas.

How is it?

The poinsettia is a bush

Let's start at the beginning: it's called Poisentia, poinsettia or poinsettia, and its scientific name is Euphorbia pulcherrima. It is originally from Mexico. Its red leaves, which can be white, yellow or salmon, are not really leaves, but bracts, which are those leaves whose mission is not photosynthesis, but rather to protect the flowers (such as those of bougainvillea). And the true flowers are small and yellow, which are the ones that emerge from the center.

It can grow into a shrub of up to Meters 5, but in a pot it stays lower. Now, if as it grows it is planted in an increasingly larger container, it can reach 3 or even 4 meters. And you have to know that is deciduous; that is, it loses its leaves in winter.

The problem with poisentias is that, although they can be grown indoors, their most suitable habitat would be outdoors, as they first need a lot of light when it's in bloom and a stable climate, without frost, without high temperatures or heating.

Poinsettia care guide

But we can also get him to survive at home, attending to some of your requirements:

When you buy it

  • Does not like temperature changesSo if you are going to have it indoors, better not buy it in a store or stall where it is displayed on the street or outside, but in a place where they already have it indoors. The same in reverse, if you are going to have it outside, that it is not exposed in a warmer place.
  • It is convenient to protect it in the store with a plastic so that it is not affected by the lowest temperature on the way to your house. Yes, it is delicate, but it is about ensuring its survival and these initial temperature changes may be enough to prevent it.
  • When buying it, look at the little flowers yellow: that there are not many already open. The more there are, the shorter the life span of their bracts.
  • Inspect your stems and leaves. That there are no broken or rotten stems or spots on the leaves.
  • Inspect its base. Move your trunk: it must be firm, not loose in the substrate, otherwise it will be a plant that has not yet rooted well; or worse, that it is still a rootless cutting.

At home

  • Needs natural light. The darkness makes the leaves fall off. Do not expose it to direct sun either.
  • Keep her away from air currents. They could cause your leaves to fall off prematurely.
  • Both cold and high temperatures cause the leaves to fall. Its ideal temperature is 22ºC during the day and 16ºC at night.. It is not advisable for it to rise above 35ºC or below 10ºC, although if it is very sheltered it could withstand occasional frosts of up to -1ºC or -2ºC once it is acclimatized.
  • He hates the heating to death. If you are going to have the heating on (because it is Christmas and it is cold), keep it from the warmest point, that does not give it direct heat and that the temperature of the room does not exceed 25º.
  • You need a high humidity. If the environment is dry, the leaves fall. If the heating is constant and / or high, you can spray the leaves (but only in that case, otherwise you run the risk of becoming infected with fungi), only the green leaves, not the bracts. If you spray the leaves red, they will stain and lose that pretty Christmas look.
  • We do not recommend putting a plate or bowl at the base of the pot, with water and some stones, because you have to control the irrigation very well so as not to add more water than necessary. Too much water will rot the roots. It is best to place containers filled with this precious liquid around it.

When and how to water the poinsettia?

The poinsettia is a deciduous shrub

Poinsettia is very sensitive to excess water, so you have to let the substrate dry a little before watering it again, otherwise the root can rot. So that no problems arise, below we explain when and how to add water to our plant:

Water when the ground is dry

The poinsettia is watered occasionally
Related article:
How to water the poinsettia?

Water is an essential element for life, but it is important to prevent the earth from remaining wet for too long. Thus, the best thing is that we use a humidity meter like this, since this is a tool that will be very useful to know how wet or dry it is. With this information, we can know if we water or not.

And, yes, we can say "water once a week", but in your case it may not be necessary to water as much. For example, in winter I water my indoor plants once every two weeks, because the ambient humidity even indoors is very high (70-90%), and also since the sun does not shine on them directly and the temperatures are lower than in summer (around 15ºC maximum and 10ºC minimum) the earth remains humid for a longer time.

Pour the water on the ground, without wetting the plant

This is important, because if it is not done there is a risk of it rotting. In addition, we must add water until the substrate is very wet. To avoid staining the soil, we can put a plate or bowl under it, but after watering we have to drain it so that no problems arise.

We will use warm water, that is to say, neither too cold nor too hot. Ideally, it should be around 30ºC more or less, since if the temperature is lower it could cool the roots, and if it is higher it could burn them.

Well that's all for now. It is delicate, but it is really worth taking care of. Let's keep in mind that you are trying to survive in a harsh environment. It is enough to help her a little to keep her alive throughout the year. The bracts only come out in December, so with a little care, at Christmas it will bloom again, this time bigger and more ours. Then you can transplant it as we tell you in this video:

And like this year, you sure get your survival. Therefore, we invite you to read this article on how to care for Poisentia after Christmas is over.


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  1.   Mardel265 said

    Thanks for the explanation. Many people consider it more of a Christmas ornament than a plant, and do not bother to care for it. Thank you for explaining to us that it is worth taking care of it, totally, and that you do not have to die once Christmas is over.

    1.    Ana Valdes said

      Thanks to you, Mardel, for sharing that idea with me! I hope that there are many of us who think this way. And to take care of our Christmas plant. Tomorrow, more about her.

  2.   angela said

    How long does it have to be covered with the PLASTIC bag after pruning and it has already started to sprout

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Angela.

      If it has already started to sprout, you just have to wait for the leaves to finish opening.

      Greetings.

  3.   Eva said

    At the end of May my plant lost the red flowers, I transplanted it and new green leaves have sprung up. I live in Seville and the heat wave that is causing I think it is affecting it because the leaves are falling a little, as if weakening, and I do not know what to do. I water every two days or so, not to sin excessively and I do not know if it will be little. Thank you for the help!

  4.   anamaria said

    I have this beautiful plaqnta and also I have managed to reproduce it many times. very beautiful

  5.   loam said

    Nobody will explain how red eyes get? osu

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Marga.
      In this article we explain it: http://www.jardineriaon.com/como-enrojecer-las-hojas-de-la-flor-de-pascua.html
      Greetings and happy week 🙂.

  6.   Alberto Basanez said

    let's see if I get it. Since they have given me two, I'm going to see if I can get both… ..the green leaves after the second watering have been wrinkling and falling and the red ones have black spots, is that normal?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Alberto.
      In principle it is normal, since these plants are pampered a lot so that they are great during Christmas and once they arrive at our homes, they notice the change a lot. As long as the stems do not blacken, everything will be fine.
      Let the substrate dry completely between waterings, and for prevention you can treat them with liquid fungicide.
      If the winter in your area is very mild down to -1ºC or -2ºC, you can even put them outside but protected with transparent plastic, like a greenhouse.
      Good luck!

  7.   Lorraine marrison said

    Hola!
    It is taking me a long time and I would say that it is the same as at Christmas. Very pretty and with new leaves. My question is how should I take care of it during the rest of the year when it is warmer weather or would it inevitably die in summer?
    Thanks greetings!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Lorena.
      No, if you haven't died at Christmas, it's difficult for him to do so 🙂.
      In spring, transplant it to a somewhat larger pot, put a universal substrate for plants mixed with 20 or 30% perlite, and water it every 3-4 days. You can fertilize it with an organic fertilizer, such as guano (liquid) so that it does not lack anything, following the specifications indicated on the container (normally it is once a week or 10 days).
      A greeting.

  8.   sonia said

    Hello, we are in June and although I don't have many green leaves, the crowns don't stop coming out red leaves, they don't have room with each other.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sonia.
      !! Congratulations!! You can upload a photo to tinypic, imageshack or some image hosting website, and then copy the link here.
      a greeting

  9.   Yanira said

    Hello I have my Easter but I have moved and I see that all its leaves have fallen, only its trunk remains and this half brown and half green is inside my house because where I live it is very cold and receives the natural light that I can do thanks .

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Yanira.
      Put it in a room where a lot of natural light enters, protected from drafts (both cold and warm), and water it very little, letting the substrate dry between waterings.
      You can take the opportunity to water it with liquid rooting hormones from time to time, so that it emits new roots.
      Good luck.

  10.   Lolixi Fonts said

    Thank you very much for the info! In April my pot is better than when I bought it and in fact with many bracts !! my mother has two from 3 years ago and I hope to make mine last as long!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      We are glad you liked it 🙂.
      Good luck with your Poinsettia!
      A greeting.

  11.   Elena Albisu said

    Hello, I have it but the leaves have fallen off, it has some small leaves that are new, how can I keep it? Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Elena.
      Put it in a bright area but without direct sun, and water it two or three times a week.
      You can help it produce new roots by watering it with homemade rooting hormones (here! explains how to obtain them).
      A greeting.

  12.   Ana said

    Hello Elena
    My plant lasted the whole year at the end of January, as it was almost
    Without leaves, I put them outside, it was full of new leaves, it turned green and very beautiful, it has kept the leaves until almost September and now the leaves have begun to fall, which may be due. Thanks

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ana.
      It is normal. With the arrival of the cold the leaves fall.
      In spring it will sprout again.
      A greeting.

  13.   Pilar Parra said

    Hello, very good day.
    My question is why the red leaves were stained white, loose like white milk.
    I can do?

    Thanks for your reply

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Pilar.
      All Euphorbia contain latex.
      Water it when the substrate is dry and is sure to survive.
      A greeting.

  14.   yaslin said

    Thanks for the explanation, how can I follow the page to see the sequences of the days, that is, I want to know about the care of the Poisentia after Christmas is over etc etc ... Could you help me?
    I am new to Easter and I would like to learn more to take better care of them !!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Yaslin.
      Here You have a complete ebook on the care that the poinsettia needs in all seasons of the year.
      A greeting.

  15.   Paola said

    Hello, I have some pots of these beautiful plants but my fear is not knowing how to take care of them so that they last me not only at Christmas but forever. The first 2 that I bought were in an open place but today I saw that many of its leaves are falling a lot, could you help me say why it will be? And yesterday I bought 2 more in a serrated store with air conditioning and when I read this I did not dare to take them out of my house since I do not know if when putting them outside they will die because of the change that they explained here, the air conditioning to the patio of my house. What do I do?