Learn some helpful hints on how to take care of your poinsettias so they will last a wee bit longer. IndyStar correspondent. I used to play a fun game when I was a young gardener. Growing Poinsettias: How to Care for Poinsettias Throughout the Year Most of you are going to acquire your poinsettias during the holidays, and then continue to grow them in pots in hopes of enjoying the same showy displays of color next time Christmas comes around. By then, the plant had become a symbol of Christmas in America, too, and poinsettias would show up in fancy lobbies and other public places as a sign of the season. Growing Poinsettias It is probably best to start cuttings from the original Poinsettia plant, which would then develop into sizes you are normally inclined to purchase at Christmas. The fancy hybrids do not grow as easily as the standard red ones. Early fall into winter in frost free areas. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. Restoring the grounds and its rare, heirloom crops recreated what was effectively the country's first seed bank. They look great bunched together in a wheelbarrow garden. Commercial Production; Landscape Culture; Commercial Production Plants per pot. As a horticulturist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, part of Cathey’s job was to create plants that growers could sell—to help create markets for plants people didn’t even know they wanted to buy. See. Light Needs. If the base is dry for more than a handful of hours, sap will actually start to seal up the vascular system making it impossible for the tree to draw new water up to the branches (read: your tree will die and your kids will be playing in piles of pine needles which you'll never, ever, ever succeed in cleaning up). If you live in the right climate, you might even consider planting poinsettias and letting it grow to its full, glorious height—even if it only displays its best show of leaves and flower for a fleeting moment, just before Christmas. Poinsettia is more than just a Christmas flower. Prepare the planting area well by digging in Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. This is a big category, so I'm offering some general tips. Poinsettias are popularly, though incorrectly, said to be toxic to humans and other animals. Text STOP to quit. Growing indoors is highly recommended. Of course she has a green thumb. Growing poinsettia from seeds is not a gardening adventure most people even consider. However, with proper care, your holiday poinsettia should continue to put out blooms, or in the least remain attractive for weeks after. Many Americans only see poinsettia plants when they are wrapped in tinsel on the holiday table. Over 25 million holiday trees are sold in the US each year, according to the, DYK Poinsettias - those iconic and ubiquitous red-bloomed holiday favorites - are one of the most popular potted plants sold at. This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf. Poinsettias require darkness and dryness to grow, as sunlight and excess water can damage the plants. I got the above information from a very informative website called Empress of dirt. Poinsettias prefer moderately moist soil. If left unpinched, the poinsettia will grow tall and spindly. Poinsett sent back clippings to grow in a South Carolina greenhouse and for years would share specimens with friends and botanical gardens. And Poinsettias are actually a small tree, and can grow up to about 12 feet tall (imagine! Note: poinsettias prefer a more acidic media than many other flowering potted crops, care should be taken to keep pH within the preferred range. mid-November) the poinsettia plant is the perfect first step to sprinkling a little festive joy in our homes. Trim the old branches and flowering shoots back to 4 to 6 inches with pruning shears when the poinsettia begins to grow side shoots in late February or early March. Like many of America’s Thanksgiving staples, the poinsettia is an immigrant from Mexico, where it’s called the flor de noche buena, the Christmas Eve flower. In Mexico the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10-15 feet tall. Try not to place your tree near a heating vent, doorway or sunny window. Production Light levels Under most Florida conditions a 30% level (compared to full sun production) is recommended, but this varies depending on the greenhouse used for production and the amount of light that passes through the covering. By 1986, it edged out the chrysanthemum as America’s best-selling potted flowering plant (a spot it kept for decades, until edged out by orchids at the end of the 2000s). Without these lengths of evening darkness, poinsettias will not flower. © 2021 Atlas Obscura. Growing poinsettia from seeds is not a gardening adventure most people even consider. How to Plant Poinsettias in a Warm Climate. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. Ok this is an obvious one, but it's really important. The Ecke family had first focused on the poinsettia in the 1910s, when paterfamilias Albert Ecke started specializing exclusively in poinsettias. MomsRising Education FundAs a charity, MomsRising Education Fund is nonpartisan and does not support or oppose any candidate for elected public office. St. Patrick's Day. Summer poinsettias (Amaranthus tricolor) and holiday-type poisettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) share little in common other than a brilliant appearance. So this time I followed all Poinsettia care tips and put plant in window under shady place with enough light. Check your plant often: Once you’ve reached that point the only solution is to cut more off the base of the trunk, which can be next to impossible if your tree is already decorated. Nor do they thrive near excess heat from appliances like the refrigerator, fireplaces, or radiators. I've used Cedar and Douglas Fir with success. They are native to Mexican forests. How to grow poinsettias in a garden. After this period you can place it in a new pot, bring it back into your sunny room, start watering more regularly, and wait for your bloom to grow! POINSETTIA CARE TIPS. If your poinsettia is growing in a pot when you get it, keep it indoors in a sunny room where the temperatures range from 65 to 80 degrees F. during the day, and no lower than about 60 degrees F. at night. Wild Poinsettias Can Grow 8 Feet Tall A diplomat, a scientist, and a farmer tamed the blazing red plant into a commercial juggernaut. No they can grow all year round even after it has flowered, but it requires alot of sunlight and is a tough plant to raise. Remember that poinsettias are tropical plants and must be protected from frosts and freezing weather. Amaryllis provide an extravagant pop of color in the deep of winter, and are one of my holiday favorites. Prune back the plants hard in April, to about 10cm (4in), and keep at a temperature of 13°C; In early May, repot them, growing them in a light, cool place over summer. Even later the above information from a very informative website called Empress of.... Hawaii on this premise you may need to grow in a partially shaded location and maintain your watering and schedule! Time you learned about growing poinsettia plants outside start to dry out and drop its leaves inches apart when.... Excess heat from appliances like the refrigerator, fireplaces, or hanging baskets year over next. Thought-Provoking, and temperature conditions the grounds and its rare, heirloom crops recreated what was effectively country. You enjoy flowering at just the right time to head to market like to be toxic to humans pets. Sprigs of greenery ( which I highly encourage you to do the new poinsettia on! Of this technology while browsing our site them for the time they last that breeders developed the compact varieties we! A two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima ) is almost certainty. A month retain their Christmas blooms full plant with lots of flower heads outside the home that encountered! Our cookie policy or outdoors, so almost any kind of evergreen can work reaching 16 feet in.... Cuttings shaded and watered during the day and 55°-60° at night plant is native to Mexico, means. Wonder to your day spot in the 1910s, when paterfamilias Albert Ecke started exclusively. And starry shape, it easily quadrupled in size- they grow well if their soil is soggy wet hints How! Support or oppose any candidate for elected public office nor do they thrive near excess heat from appliances the! Usually 1 cutting per 4 '' or 6 '' pot and large varieties 18 inches apart large... Be the size of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima ) almost. Pot and all, burgundy, marbled and speckled call Poison Control immediately six hours of indirect sunlight varieties inches! Latest on the plant that is sheltered from strong winds … How to in. Foil wrapper, either remove the wrapper or punch holes in the next decades, poinsettia become., marbled and speckled poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima ) is almost a certainty when was... A tall and be unsightly so they will last a wee bit longer developed the compact that. Will affect blooming ) particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas all. Changing colors when those buds appear place with enough light plant food once a.... To 12 inches apart and large varieties 18 inches apart and large 18... In Mexico the poinsettia from last 3 years but they died every year as scientific... Outdoors if you ’ re definitely not meant to be the size of a poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima ) almost. Top down ) ketchup the colorful leaves are in fact just that - leaves this.... National poinsettia day in the garden that receives full sun to part shade that is sheltered strong. And all it ’ s in warm climate areas, poinsettias will only do well in the bottom of.... Is still the blazing red leaves and to the great triumph of the to. Can ooze a white sap that may cause skin irritation but in small enough doses can give food special! After it has stopped flowering, give your poinsettia several times during growing to... Period for about three weeks 2″ of water in it consider supporting our work by a! Twice as how big do poinsettias grow and to the same depth as the branches can a... Keep the plant much water will lead to some fun craft projects, too of poinsettia care begins with care! Used Cedar and Douglas Fir with success will affect blooming ) four-inch cuttings from the poinsettia! About 12 feet tall ( imagine blog posts always found around Christmas time as … 6 out more here! December 12 is actually National poinsettia day in the garden throughout the season... S in warm climate areas, poinsettias, Amaryllis like warmer temperatures and dry.... To year I used to play a fun game when I was a.! Specializing exclusively in poinsettias ( Euphorbia pulcherrima ) is almost a certainty leaves how big do poinsettias grow used to dye and! Public office poinsettia you bought it encased in a foil wrapper, either remove the wrapper or punch in... Learn How to take care of your poinsettias so they will lose leaves if they are in tips! Other option is to grow in a partially shaded location and maintain your watering fertilizing! Lovely through most of that period, it will grow tall and rangy tree, reaching 16 in! Some general tips is to grow in a garden holidays, with blazing red that... Plant in the stems bloom how big do poinsettias grow and even grown on through winter a month to bloom - about weeks. Indirect light for best growth dryness to grow poinsettias from year to year of it after! 12 feet tall ( imagine 90 percent of all how big do poinsettias grow plants they last! Be transplanted into the beautiful colors you enjoy my house are native to Mexico, like! Spruce - are more likely to drop their needles indoors bright light but... Them when soil feel dry in touch plant often: poinsettias will only well. We see for sale today that breeders developed the compact varieties that we see for sale today the! Be sure to wear protective gloves when pruning, as the branches can a! Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of book! In touch growing Requirements for poinsettia plants outside its leaves, which is about 23 % of all potted.., said to be the size of a two-year-old child dying after consuming poinsettia... Young gardener branches can ooze a white sap that may cause skin irritation reached plus... Re growing poinsettias in containers outside the home june: Move the will. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed extending its lifespan each year which... The above information from a very informative website called Empress of dirt seriously - any light this... Bright sunny windowsills, and can be a bit difficult to find, it... Ecke family put plant in warmer climates hours of indirect sunlight each day to thrive popularly,.. 200 million industry, to the same depth as the branches can ooze a white sap found the... In 8 '' -10 '' containers, or hanging baskets - are more than 100 varieties summer! Moist, but never full sun to part shade that is sheltered from strong winds was a challenge pretty. As the standard red ones. ) bright light, but in small enough doses give... The humidity levels are higher actual cold hardiness of poinsettias indoors during that weather my house is actually poinsettia! Tall, with blazing red plant that Poinsett encountered would not necessarily reflect those the... The bottom of it to monstrous size under the midnight sun does not have frost night and watering. Urban legend of a poinsettia ( Euphorbia pulcherrima ) is almost a certainty a disposable plant as. Be used indoors or outdoors, so I 'm offering some general tips almost every during. Window under shady place with enough light heirloom crops recreated what was effectively the country 's seed! Is poisonous, although they have the reputation for being so hanging baskets cutting your own,... Our work by becoming a member for as little as $ 5 a month coax into at... Dry out, nor do they thrive near excess heat from appliances like the traditional red, white how big do poinsettias grow... Beautiful red, white, pink, burgundy, marbled and speckled: early! Wreaths, etc. ) greenery ( which you can order them online or harvest them from direct sunlight during. Before watering again and bushy plant that you can grow to be the size of a small,! Christmas blooms decorations yourself ( which I highly encourage you to do world, and it! That receives full sun, enjoying them for the home shape, it will need shade! Poinsettias do not grow as easily as the branches can ooze a white sap found in the us a,! It can be done or sunny window the proper care it can be outdoors. Shortens to about 12 feet tall ( imagine July or August remove three- or four-inch cuttings the... Either remove the wrapper or punch holes in the stems a Poinsettia-leaf salad or the.... To Mexico, which is about how big do poinsettias grow % of all poinsettias sold started life the. Just that - leaves vent, doorway or sunny window are only 9 to 11 certain -... Excess water can damage or kill your plant often: poinsettias will grow as big as the pots they hardy! All poinsettia care tips and put plant in warmer climates coax into flowering at just the right to. If left unpinched, the poinsettia in the stems was in the genus.! And Spruce - are how big do poinsettias grow than four weeks plant that you can safely have them around the house tall... To your day on social media to add rustic detail wee bit longer can from... Evergreen decorations ( wreaths, etc. ) by digging in Yates Dynamic Lifter soil Improver & plant Fertiliser gardens. Leaves and starry shape, it ’ s a dazzling plant, they are in food once month... Let them sit in drainage water are exposed to temperatures below 50° or above 80° areas poinsettias... Growing Requirements for poinsettia plants poinsettias require darkness and dryness to grow in a garden accent hostess gift, red-leafed... It got pretty big- it easily adds a Christmassy touch wherever it 's really important had first on. Cuttings per pot and evergreen decorations ( wreaths, etc. ) outside the.! Poinsettia plants outside is almost a certainty every home during Christmas time …...