Poinsettia or poinsettia: care for a Christmas plant

The poinsettia requires special care. It is sensitive to extreme cold and dry air, so we will tell you how you should treat it. Find out!

Last update: December 25, 2021

The poinsettia or poinsettia is native to Mexico and Central America. Over the past several years, it has become a Christmas plant that demands specific care.

The poinsettia is common to see it in red, but there are also pink and white. We tell you everything you need to know about their care.

10 mistakes you make when caring for your poinsettia plant

If the poinsettia does not receive reasonable care, it will lose the leaves to the point of being devoid of them. When this happens, it is a sign that the poinsettia is under stress..

It begins by turning its lower leaves yellow until they fall off; this continues gradually to the upper leaves if the cause of stress is not eliminated. To prevent this from happening, it is important that you know the causes and how to remedy them.

1. You do not provide the necessary water

You may find your poinsettia in poor condition and both flowers and leaves hang down. This is the first indication that something is wrong.

Touch the soil in the pot and if it feels dry, you may have found the problem: lack of watering. Sometimes when plants are just bought, it is common for them to arrive with a shortage of water.

How to remedy this? The plant needs a deep watering if you want to save it. However, your appearance will not be the best for a while.

During the drought, the roots of the poinsettia have suffered and will not be able to absorb water effectively. Therefore, it is recommended to submerge the pot for 15 to 20 minutes after a general watering.

2. You have left her exposed to extreme cold

In the holiday season, when they are usually bought poinsettias, it is cold in some countries. And despite what you may believe, you must take care of the plant from temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, you run the risk of the leaves falling off.

To prevent this from happening, you can wrap the plant before taking it out of the nursery and before putting it in the vehicle, heat it. Also, do not expose it to freezing currents when it is at home. Place it in a corner where it receives sunlight, but not direct.

The poinsettia is a classic garden ornament for December, when its sales rise in nurseries.

3. You leave it wrapped for a long time

Sometimes when we buy poinsettias they are wrapped in clear wrapping paper. The downside to this is that the poinsettia secretes a toxic known as ethylene, which does not cause harm when the plant is outdoors.

But if it stays wrapped, the ethylene concentration increases and ends up damaging the plant itself. What happens is that its leaves and foliage begin to fall off. How to avoid it? As soon as you get home, take it out of the packaging.

4. Exposure to carbon monoxide

Watch out! If you poinsettia begins to lose leaves and bracts exponentially upon arrival home, the carbon monoxide level in the area may be very high. These plants, like canaries, can perceive a gas leak.

If you observe the described, you can check the levels of carbon monoxide in the place with the help of a special detector for this purpose. If the alarm sounds, call 911 and leave the property.

5. Stay air in too dry

Yes the poinsettia it can tolerate dry air, but only if it is not excessive or prolonged. When the air becomes very dry, below 30% humidity, it is inevitable that the leaves of the poinsettia will fall off. Not without first turning brown at the tips and edges.

How do you know if the air is dry? After you water your plant, see if the soil dries out too quickly, within 2 to 3 days. To alleviate this situation you can use a humidifier, which increases the humidity of the room. Or you can place the plant on a humidifying tray.

6. You water it too much

Nothing in excess is good; even watering. The water must be provided in its proper measure to the poinsettia. This plant reacts in the same way if you water it a lot or a little.

What happens is that with a moist soil for long periods, the roots rot and do not receive oxygen. Thus the things, the plant is completely ruined. This problem has no solution, so it is recommended to discard the plant and find a substitute for it.

7. It’s too hot or too cold

Excessive heat damages your poinsettia. The ideal temperature for her ranges between 15 and 24 degrees Celsius.

Keep in mind that extreme temperatures will cause the poinsettia lose the leaves. What should you do about it? Move it to a cooler or warmer room, according to the situation.

8. You don’t provide it with enough light

The poinsettia can be in the shade for several weeks, but when this period lasts for months, the problems begin to show. In the absence of sunlight it loses its lower foliage.

That said, during the holidays you can decorate almost any corner of the house; Only if it is a place that lacks natural light, try not to leave it there for more than 4 weeks. After the holidays, hold the poinsettia near a window.

9. It is mined by insects

Oh oh! Beware of insects. Especially whiteflies. They feel an attraction to poinsettias and they turn the foliage yellowish until it falls off. When this happens, almost always the plant comes infected from the store.

The red spider and the mealybug are other varieties that are present and produce the same effects as the whitefly. That said, before buying it, you should take a closer look at the leaves, branches, and soil.

If you have escaped any pests, then give them a bath with potassium soap.

10. You don’t remove old leaves

Leaf shedding is normal in most plants, including the poinsettias. When their leaves and foliage are old or have stopped working, they shed naturally. What should you do? Just remove the fallen foliage.

The basic care for any plant also applies to the poinsettia. Watch out for pests and don’t overdo it with watering.

Take care of the humidity level for a poinsettia full of life

The poinsettia should be watered weekly if the weather is gloomy, but if it’s hot, watering it every 3 or 4 days is fine. To be sure, it is recommended to check the humidity of the floor every 3 days. Insert your index finger into the ground until you reach the second joint; this will be your watering indicator.

If the land is dry, you must water the plant; But if it’s wet, wait at least 2-3 more days. Remember that environmental conditions change continuously and these factors are determining factors.

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