Does the word “Holiday” take you to your imaginary world where you also can see a red plant? Yeah, we are talking about poinsettias. From the deciduous tropical forests of Mexico, people bring this bright color plant to their homes for holidays. Even though poinsettias are not difficult to maintain, watering them can be a little tricky. If you are wondering how much water your plant needs, give this piece a thorough read till the end.
Where to Grow Poinsettias?
You might be wondering the best place to grow these plants. Growing poinsettias outdoor would be your best experience, but you will need to check the temperature requirements. Ensure your region or plan to start planting these essential plants is cold at 13 degrees Celsius.
These poinsettias need you to place them in the correct position where you can care because they can shoot up to 10-foot (3 m.) sharp in rapid order. If you need them for special occasions like a holiday, then you can pot them. But you will need to care for the plant from the day it arrives until it grows well. Watering the potted plant is essential, and ensure to place in a sunny location you avoid wind currents.
Do you need to care for poinsettias? Yes, but not time-consuming if you are ready to grow them. Once you see green shoots on your plants, then it a high time to start watering them. For the plant to grow healthy and get all nutrients, you can add water-soluble fertilizers. If you don’t want your plant to grow tall, you will need trimming to create your desired height.
Watering should be based on when your plant needs water and when the soil dries out. If you’re wondering how often you water poinsettias, it is generally once a week, depending on the climate and environment.
Before jumping to how often you should water your plant, let’s discuss some of the crucial factors that need to be reflected.
When You Need to Water
When watering poinsettias, know that too much water is just as bad as too little. The best way to tell whether your poinsettias need to feed or not; to examine their soil. If the uppermost layer of the soil appears moist and cool to touch, you don’t need to rush for watering now. Wait till the soil dries out completely.
In addition to that, you can also tell when it’s time to water simply by lifting the pot. When the container seems light as a feather, it indicates that the soil is dry and you need to water the plant. Water your plant till it feels slightly moist. Don’t over-water. Otherwise, the land will feel soggy and dripping wet.
The damp feel of the soil should be as constant as possible. If the soil always feels cold and wet, it means the roots are stressed with extra water surrounding them. Over-watering will cause the lower leaves to drop off, even though it is not the time to turn yellow. Keep in mind that you also need to consider how much water poinsettias need to thrive.
How to Water Your Poinsettias
As soon as you bring your poinsettias home, check the bottom part of the pot, whether it has any drainage holes under it. If you find any, you don’t need to worry. But if there is no hole, it will not be able to drain water properly. As a result, the root may rot rapidly. If there is any decorative foil, remove it. Otherwise, the foil will hold water and rot the plant.
But if you insist not to take off its shiny wrapper, then be responsible for the water to be completely drained after each watering. Putting the plant in the kitchen sink is one of the best ways to water your poinsettias. But make sure to drip all the water through the drainage holes. Keep the pot in the sink till the excess moisture drains. Make sure the container isn’t standing in the water. While watering the poinsettias, make sure the water gets thoroughly till the water drips out from the holes at the bottom of the pot. That is the reason why you should always look for a pot with drainage holes under it.
How Often to Water?
Now here comes the main event- how often to water poinsettias? The honest answer would be that it depends on the environment you live in and the climate you live in. You will find some homes are being kept warmer, while on the other hand, some homes are cold.
The poinsettias may be kept in the cooler spot, and others may be displayed in the dark corner of a room. The recommendation would be, monitoring your plant by yourself to figure out whether the plant needs water or not. You can realize its need by merely touching the soil, observing its color, and how it weighs with the pot. Don’t water too much to make it too wet, and don’t make it too dry.
Over-watering and Under-watering the Plant
If you notice the soil being lightweight and medium brown colored, the reason for that would be under-watering the plant. On the other hand, you don’t want the soil always to be heavyweight and almost dark black colored. These are the symptoms that you over-watered the plant a little.
However, the lower leaves also drop off if the soil is too dry. Under-watering also causes the flowers and leaves to drop off. These incidents might happen if any of the over-watering and under-watering take place. If any of these ever happened to you, now you know what the culprit was.
The Dos and Don’ts of Watering Poinsettias
How, where, and when you should water your poinsettias will impact how the plant will grow. You need to understand all these situations to ensure you are growing your poinsettias successfully. It will help you to know why you need water and how it will impact your plant.
Most people might take watering for granted, but if you don’t consider them, you’re likely to expose your plant to diseases or death. It does matter if you are cultivating the plants in your garden or for indoor decoration; you need to differentiate between best and worst watering techniques and get healthy poinsettias plants.
Watering Outdoor Plants
Water In the Morning
Morning is the best time to water your poinsettias before the heat of the day. This will allow the water to seep down to the roots before evaporating. In addition, the plant will have sufficient store of moisture beneath the soil to help withstand the hot day.
Water The Plant Considering Soil Level
When watering the plant, you’re directing the water to a place where it is needed: the roots. You don’t have to overflood the top of the soil with water but only the right amount that will enhance the growth of poinsettias.
Avoid Frequently Watering or Too Little
You may be tempted to water your plant during hot weather, often thinking you are making the soil damp. If you water too little, your discouraging roots from extending, and this may affect your plant. Ensure to stick to one routine where you practice less frequent watering but thoroughly saturates the soil.
This will encourage the soil to grow deeper and reach out for residual water. You will need to maintain this healthy watering to get plenty of flowers and have the desired color.
Monitor Moisture Levels
Poinsettias can wilt if the soil dries out. Monitoring the moisture level will help you understand if your plant is sitting on the water, limiting the entry of oxygen. There are situations where you will find the topsoil dry but inside is still moist, which happens during windy periods.
To avoid overwatering, you will need to check on the level of moisture inside the soil. You will need to have a wooden dowel, insert it into the soil, and pull it out to check the condition of the soil. If the soil is moist, it will stick to the dowel but will come out clean when the soil is dry, meaning you need to water.
Never Rely on Rain
Poinsettias will do well if you can provide at least 1 inch of water per week, but the amount will change during the dry season. Rains might not provide enough water to your plants, so you will not have to rely on them. You can implement a simple rain gauge in your garden to help you monitor the amount of rain.
Watering Indoor Plants
Use Can Water Your House Plants
If your poinsettia plant is leafy and trying to water using drinking grass means you will find the water spilling to the floor or table. Using a watering can allow you to direct the water to the base of the plant.
Choose Suitable Soil
Poinsettias will grow indoors depending on the potting mixture you will subject the plant to live in. You need to avoid using garden soil in your indoor pot plants because they may contain pathogens or insects that might expose your plant to diseases. It will be best to get a soilless houseplant mix and will allow the root to reach deep. Also, this type of soil comes with that will help you boost plant growth.
How To Extend the Lifespan of Poinsettias?
Suppose you are growing poinsettias for export or any other business, then you will need them to stay for a more extended period. It is considered that red poinsettias are in high demand than the white and cream-colored varieties. Most people like to purchase this plant because of star-shaped leaf bracts, which have earned Christmas Stars from other languages.
You can easily mistake poinsettias for flower petals, but they all have left. You will notice the shape of the flowers is unique, with tiny yellow berry-like structures at the center of each flower. It will be best to understand some of this tip to ensure your plant stay beyond your expected period.
When visiting the market to source for poinsettias that you’re going to plant, you will note that most stores place them in the front door hoping customers will buy them. But it is good to avoid buying plants placed next to automatic doors that open every 30 seconds because they are easily damaged. Poinsettias need to be in a cool sunny location where nothing will damage them, for instance, air current.
Exposing poinsettias to a temperature below 15 °C or drought conditions will cause plant damage. You might not notice this immediately, and if you consider buying poinsettias, you will see drop leaves after reaching home. Consider getting a health poinsettia that has intact bracts.
You need to check on the type of soil the plant is growing before you can buy. The plant should not be in dry or wet soil. If they are in such a condition, then it means the poinsettias have not been given proper TLC, so they might not last in your care.
After considering all the condition necessary and landed on the right poinsettias, you will need to carry home. Get a paper and wrap it up to protect it from drought and lower temperatures. This will protect your plant from invisible damages that are likely to cause premature loss of leaves after a few days.
Choose The Right Temperature for Poinsettias
Ensure your plant gets warmth and light. You can decide to use a radiator, but you need to be keen not to let the poinsettias dry. If you expose the plant to drought condition you, will it start losing the leaves? It will be best to have your poinsettias in a shattered location.
It would be best if you had your plant growing at a temperature of between 16 to 23 degrees Celsius. This makes it ideal to have your poinsettias in your bedroom or living room. Always ensure the plant is getting sufficient light for growth, and if it is in winter, you need to have the plant next to the window.
Consider Watering a Poinsettia Plant
From the previous review, you will notice that poinsettia doesn’t need a lot of water. You need to maintain the plant roots not dry nor drench. If in case you overwater the poinsettia, that can cause the plant to die because of waterlogging. This will affect the roots and leaves of your poinsettia, leading to death.
The best way you can maintain this is houseplant is by doing a regular inspection of the leaves. If you see them turning yellow or falling off, you need to source where the issue originated. Constantly water your plant if the soil is noticeably dry.
If your plant is growing near a radiator, you will need to regularly check the soil’s condition. The process of checking is easy but will require you to be careful. You lift the plant, and it is time to water if the weight is lighter than normal. Also, you can choose to water your poinsettia by soaking them from below, which might work well more than regular watering.
You need to use room-temperature water and keep watering small pots every time because they dry up quickly. If you have a standard pot, you need to water it with more than a tiny glass of water. This is essential to prevent large pores in the soil from blocking, which might result in waterlogging. But if you have mini poinsettias, then you should not water with more than a tiny glass. Get rid of any excess water that is still in the plant after 10 minutes.
Sometimes you might not be accurate on what you need to do, so it is best to keep poinsettias a little drier. Keeping the soil moist and adding soluble fertilizer once a week is a great ideal to do. This will ensure your poinsettias last longer after purchasing them.
Poinsettias After Occasions
To ensure your poinsettias survive after an important occasion like Christmas might seem challenging. The process is easy, and you have to prune it and regulate the temperature to keep them healthy. When the event is about to happen, start placing your poinsettias into 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, which will encourage the red flowers to flourish.
Planting Poinsettia in A Warm Climate
Passionate remains one of the best flowers you can decorate your home during holidays. But you don’t have to limit this plant to winter only, but you need to diversify. This plant growers well in the garden, and you don’t have to rely upon indoor planting. Here are some of the essential steps to consider before letting your plant grow in a warm climate.
Once you are done with the holiday, you need to turn your attention to how you will get your poinsettia to grow outdoor. While still inside your house, you need to maintain your temperature to avoid the plant drying between 6o and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, please don’t limit your plant on the amount of sunlight it has to receive.
Ensure you maintain your daily watering routine until the leaves drop. At this point, you will need to allow it to dry a bit in between watering. It would be best to use a pot that drains well to avoid waterlogging that will cause roots to rot. After dropping the leaves, you will need to cut the stem back into 4 to 7 inches.
Before you can transfer your plant outdoor, check if the temperature if it meets the required standard. You need to locate a place that receives full sunlight and has good soil drainage. You can now transplant the poinsettia to the place you choose. It will help to add organic matter to the soil to provide more nutrients to the plant.
Ensure to dig a hole that is larger than the pot containing the poinsettia tree. Once you have placed the plant inside, you can add the soil on top to keep the plant firm as you water it.
You will notice that the care need for them during warm climates is minimal. Water is required to keep the plant alive, and eventually, you will see new growth appearing on the plant. If you would love your plant to remain short, you will consider trimming to encourage new growth. This condition will help the plant to bear many flowers.
Suppose you will need to change the color of the leaves because of an occasion when you cut the amount of light penetration to the plant. Consider your poinsettia receiving a total of 14-hours of darkness. To achieve this, you will need to place anything like a box to keep the plant in the dark.
It will help if you can continue with the process until you see the color on the leaves changing. Maintain the optimum temperature between 18 to 25 degrees to promote optimum color change. Suppose your temperature doesn’t stay as per the requirement, then you will need to pot your plant and take it inside your house. Ensure to maintain the temperature, watering, and light to achieve your desired color.
How To Enjoy Your Poinsettia Plant
Depending on the weather condition, it a high time for you to enjoy the vibrant color of your lovely potted poinsettia plant. It looks impressive significantly when it is blooming, and that enhances the red leaves to look amazing. If your plants are only outdoor, you need to watch how they grow and provide the requirement not to dry up.
Sometimes you may find your outdoor poinsettia damaged by frost, and you will need to wait until spring then; you can prune it. If you see the damage as severe, consider cutting it to live wood. It does matter if you prefer to have your plan inside or outside your house. Ensure you maintain the daily routine to keep the plant growing through the year.
Maintaining poinsettias isn’t as hard as you might think. Knowing how often to water poinsettias isn’t all you need to know. Watering the plant requires some experience, that’s all. Carefully reread the article to learn their watering needs. Then, you will be able to water the plant whenever they need it, which will help them develop their growth and enhance their beauty.