Poinsettia 101

 Photo Courtesy: Erika Hannem

Photo Courtesy: Erika Hannem

We check in with Gardening Expert Jim Hole from the Enjoy Centre for a few tips on keeping your gorgeous plant from biting the dust.

 

Picking out the Perfect Poinsettia

Select a plant that has nice bright green foliage. The coloured part of the poinsettia is called the bracts. Make sure the bracts of the plant are vibrant as well. It’s important to pick out a poinsettia that appears nice and stocky, with a good root system. Also, don’t forget to test out the soil making sure it’s moist.

 

Leaving the Store

Make sure you are purchasing your poinsettia from a reputable grower that properly wraps your plant for the transport home. When temperatures dip below zero the plant needs more insulation than just a thin layer of plastic to survive the journey.

 

Placing the Poinsettia

During the day it’s important to place your plant in a bright sunny spot. At night feel free to move it around the house wherever you’d like to add a bit of extra holiday colour. You will know if your plant is not getting enough sunlight if it starts to drop leaves.

“A lot of people will keep them in a dark spot in the house and then the green leaves fall off,” says Jim Hole  “It’s telling you that they’re in too dark a spot.”

 

How Often to Water

To test whether or not your plant needs watering, Jim recommends sticking your index finger into the soil up to your knuckle. If the soil is moist to that depth you are good, if not hit it with some water. It’s also important to empty out any water in the catch trays.

“Poinsettia’s like moisture but they hate standing water,” says Jim Hole “That will kill them off.”

 

To Fertilize or not to Fertilize

There’s no need to fertilize if you are just keeping the plant through the holiday season. If, however, you do want to keep the plant for next year then you can start fertilizing in the New Year.

 

The Enjoy Centre has a beautiful selection of poinsettias to choose from this time of year. Make sure you stop by and check them out, they are located at 101 Riel Drive in St. Albert.

 Photo Courtesy: Erika Hannem

Photo Courtesy: Erika Hannem