Poinsettia Care

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- If you are out and about even now, there are many locations already selling poinsettias. If you are like me, you look for the biggest and fullest for the best price.

Your poinsettia should have a lot of flowers, but get this; they aren't flowers. They are bracts. Bracts, or the colored leaves of poinsettias, form the same way as does color on fall leaves in October. When the light is restricted, the green chlorophyll slows down and the specific color of the poinsettia sets in like red, pink, white or a combination of all the above.

Now, when you get ready to choose that perfect poinsettia, check the leaves. Avoid yellowing leaves because that might indicate lack of care on the grower's part. What you want is green leaves from the top to right down to the pot line. You also might want to brush the poinsettia with your hand at the store. If you see tiny white flies taking off, better go to another location. There is basically no control for house plants with white flies so avoid them in the first place.

If the temperature is cold outside when you want to transport them home, make sure to cover them up. Even a few seconds of cold wind will severely injure this holiday flower.

Once you get your poinsettia home, give it as much light as possible. Usually, a South-facing window will work best. Furthermore, make sure you keep this plant and any houseplant for this matter away from drafts, especially when opening and closing doors to the outside. Don't forget, it's best to avoid heating vents where the air circulates over the poinsettia itself.

Don't over water a poinsettia because they certainly don't like wet feet.
By the way, don't forget that that plastic wrap covering the pot will trap excess water, creating a swimming pool of water that will certainly injure the roots of the poinsettia.

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