How to Care for Poinsettias

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How to Care for Poinsettias

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Since they're only around for the holidays, here's how to get the most out of your seasonal arrangement.

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  1. Selecting: Choose plants with dark green foliage down to the soil. The colored “petals” are actually leaves, called bracts. The true flowers are the tiny buds at the center of each bract.

  2. Transporting: Sleeve your poinsettia before you take it home, especially if outside temperatures are below 60°F. Sleeving also protects the plant from breaking.

  3. Sunlight: Poinsettias like lots of bright, indirect sunlight, plus a dark period at night. Place in a south-, east- or west-facing window and keep them away from heat vents, cold drafts, and windowpanes.

  4. Watering: Water the plant thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Let water run through the soil until it exits the bottom drainage holes. Make sure your poinsettia never stands in water.

  5. Cutting: After cutting poinsettia stems, remove outer leaves and stand the stems in cool water for 30 minutes. Discard the cloudy water and replace it with fresh.

  6. Decorating: There are more poinsettia colors than ever, and white is especially stunning in a metallic vase. Find your style in the Hy-Vee floral department.