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Saturday 6 January 2018

A Poinsettia is Not Just For Christmas

Anna of Anna's Island Style called out for help a few days ago.  No,  not a mayday or SOS from her Scilly island but a call for help with poinsettias.  She was looking for care advice on how to get them to survive past Christmas.

Well of course, I leapt in with my thoughts.  And I'd like to  share my thoughts with you too, as you may be struggling to keep your poinsettia alive in the weeks after Christmas. 

My message is keep it light-touch with poinsettias.  Be aware that they are there but don't fuss over them.

Greenfingered I am not, but whereas most poinsettia plants seem to die pretty quickly after the holiday period, I have been striking it lucky with this Christmas plant of late.  I had one which lasted a couple of years.  It eventually shed all it's leaves and never grew them back so it sadly got thrown on the heap a couple of years ago 😢.

A year later, November 2016,  the lovely cat sitters left me a poinsettia.
It's got big - that's a wine bottle next to it.

It's leaves turned green some weeks after Christmas 2016.

I think they need to be kept away from light in order to maintain their redness.

I kept mine in the kitchen, in the spot they had left it for me.
This isn't the spot, it's normally on the island unit but as this was its first-ever photoshoot, I had to take it to an exotic location - the countertop 3 feet away!

The plant is out of direct sunlight but gets plenty of it indirectly as the kitchen is a light room.

It occasionally sheds leaves, so it does get a bit leggy.  But I love that I have now kept two poinsettias going for longer than most of their mates out in the wider world.

I only water when it looks like it needs it, when I check the soil and its dry, or simply when I remember it's still there!
They do not like overwatering.  The soil here is a bit too soggy.

It's still in its original pot, so is maybe getting a bit root-bound as it's easily twice it's original size.  But I don't dare to re-pot it.  If it ain't broke ...

I just leave it where it is, letting it feel like part of the family in its central position.  I think it appreciates that.

So, this elegant plant can be your leafy mate  for a few years - a poinsettia is not just for Christmas

A la perchoine.


  1. Thanks so much Mary for this timely post. I've started to ignore mine, as I do think I was fussing over it too much. Is it too dry, is it too wet, is that another leaf dropped off? Currently it sits in the kitchen, out of direct sunlight and is responding by looking less sickly, more upright and stronger. Goodness know if it will survive - I've killed every plant I've had!

    Happy New Year my dear,
    Anna x

    1. Well, Anna. it sounds like you're doing just fine with it. The trick is to forget it's there and then when it DOES catch your eye, don't panic because it will show you if it needs any care. I'm feeling good about you and this poinsettia, it's one of the things you can pop in your grateful jar!
      Keep warm and dry during these horrible storms which must be hitting you as badly as they're hitting us. Hugs, x.

  2. I think you're right - don't fuss over poinsettias too much and they survive. I am definitely no green thumb, we have ZERO houseplants, I can't even keep herbs alive. But I have a potted poinsettia near my front door that is well over a year old (may be 2) and it's still green. No red this year but that's probably because we didn't water it much and it was so hot. I have another on my back porch, a Christmas gift from last year, still in the Christmas pot. It bloomed beautifully this year. Every now and then I give it water but that's it.
    Some day I'd love to plant a beautiful cutting garden in my yard but that may be a dream, I'm not sure I have the time for that kind of maintenance!

    1. Oh my, that is the fundamental difference between our two homes. Your poinsettias thrive outside and mine inside. They probably don't take too well to AC give that they are indigenous to Mexico. And hey, they BLOOM?!!! Never seen that! My dear, you have a full hand of green fingers! The cutting garden sounds like real hard work. Think carefully before you head down that garden path.
      Hugs, x.

  3. Mary, thank you for sharing your tips for maintaining a poinsettia! I need all the tips I can gather when it comes to any plant life whatsoever...I recently killed a cactus! Who kills a cactus? I just don't get it. The only thing I have managed to keep alive and thriving to date are my marimo balls...which are Japanese algae that live in if I manage to kill algae, I don't what I'll do!


    1. Oh Shelbee, who indeed kills a cactus?!!! The marimo balls sound unusual, I've never heard of them. I guess they must be beautiful for your to keep them so I'll have to do some googling.
      Wishing you a cosy Sunday ... and keep out of those snow drifts! Hugs, x.

  4. I love poinsettias and I always bought one every year. In the spring I would plant it outside and it would live till frost. But I stopped buying poinsettias when I got a cat cause I thought they were poisonous. What do you about your cats?

    1. Well there's a thing, Amy, I've never heard of that. But maybe he has because I've had them around all his life. And my catsitters bought me the one in this post - what's that saying?!! I'm going to Google it now, thanks for the headsup, hugs x.