Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by AndreaR, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. AndreaR

    AndreaR Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm up in Alberta, Canada..zone 3 so my poinsettias won't go outside. How can I keep my plants alive? I have 2 small ones amd a 14" tall one in their original small pots. Has anyone keep their christmas plants and how big of a pot should I use? Any special soil conditions? Thanks
  2. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    Calif, The Mother Lode
    from what I remember, they like to be rather dry, so take off that foil wrapping paper, ASAP or the soil will get stinky. They are hard to force bloom. My Aunt had some in her entry that were really old, they were about 4 or 5 feet tall, but they never bloomed for her.

  3. Jaclynne

    Jaclynne Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2002
    N E Texas
    I have a beautiful pink poinsettia I'd like to keep around this year and possibly propagate.
    If you go to www.google.com and search for poinsettia care , you will find a ton of info.

    The following is from the Dayton Nursery site.

    The Legend of the poinsettia

    According to an old legend, a poor Mexican girl had no gift to present the Christ Child on his birthday. As she walked to the chapel, her heart filled with sadness. Not knowing what else to do, she gathered a handful of common weeds from the roadside and arranged them into a small bouquet. She then looked at the scraggly bunch of weeds and felt embarrassed by the humbleness of the offering. But, this was the only gift she could offer. As she entered the chapel, she remembered the words of her cousin, "Even the most humble gift, given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes". Her spirits began to lift as she knelt down and laid the bouquet in front of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet burst into blooms of brilliant red. All who saw this were certain they had just seen a Christmas miracle right before their eyes. Through that miracle, the first "Flower of the Holy Night" bloomed. This was the birth of the Poinsettia.


    Medium light areas are best for poinsettias, but they will tolerate low light. Avoid full sun to prevent burned leaves. Selecting a place out of direct sunlight, but that is well lit, is best.

    Place a saucer under the plant. Water when the soil surface becomes dry.

    Keep at temperatures between 60-70º F.

    Post holiday care
    When the poinsettia's blooms age and lose their charisma, there's no reason to throw it out. If you want to maintain your poinsettia beyond the Christmas season, you will need to give it some attention on a regular basis. With proper care, dedication and a certain amount of luck, you too can re-bloom your poinsettia!

    In early April, cut the plant back to about 6 or 8 inches in height and place it outside in the shade after all chance frost has passed and night temperatures average 55 degrees or above. Keep the plant watered and fertilize the poinsettia every 2-3 weeks. Prune your poinsettia during the summer to keep plants bushy and compact. Late June or early July is a good time for this step, but do not prune your plant later than Sept 1. Bring the plant indoors before threat of cool weather.

    Beginning in October, the plants should be kept in complete darkness for 14 continuous hours at night. Put it in total darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. every night, keeping the soil evenly moist and fertilize like you do your other houseplants until January. Cover the plant with a black plastic bag to prevent any light from getting in but remove the bag during the day. By mid-November, the bracts, the modified leaves that we all think of as the flower, should start to show color. Keep on your long-night schedule, though.

    During November and December, poinsettias require 6-8 hours of bright sunlight daily, with night temperatures between 60-70 degrees F. Continue a normal watering and fertilizer program. The correct amount of water is very important, poinsettias will not tolerate moisture extremes. Do not keep the potting mix too wet or too dry. If allowed to dry out too much, the plant will wilt and drop it’s leaves. Additionally, do not allow the plant to remain in standing water. This could result in root rot, which will cause the plant to decline. Carefully follow this regime for 8-10 weeks should result in a colorful display of blooms for the holiday season!

    The Poinsettias is NOT poisonous.

    The widespread belief that poinsettias are poisonous is a misconception. Studies conducted by the Ohio State University concluded that no toxicity was evident at experimental ingestion levels far exceeding those likely to occur in a home environment. Though, as with all ornamental plants, poinsettias are not intended for human or animal consumption, and certain individuals may experience an allergic reaction to poinsettias. In fact, in 1992, the poinsettia was included on the list of houseplants most helpful in removing pollutants from indoor air. So, not only is the poinsettia a safe and beautiful addition to your holiday decor, it can even help keep your air clean!

    National Poinsettia Day
    By an Act of Congress, December 12 was set aside as National Poinsettia Day. The date marks the death in 1851 of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who is credited with introducing the native Mexican plant to the United States. The purpose of this day is to enjoy the beauty of this popular holiday plant. So, be sure to give someone you love a poinsettia on December 12, National Poinsettia Day.

    Life is good! :) :) :)
  4. Lynn(Mo.)

    Lynn(Mo.) Member

    May 10, 2002
    Each year I have managed to get them thru the winter and planted outside on southside of house and each year I forget to bring them in before frost :( However, I do very nicely with the amaryllis bulb I have kept blooming for 3 consecutive years now! I winter it in the house, transplant outside after danger of frost and right around Jan. it will bloom for me..I just dont get it inside in time to bloom for Christmas.
  5. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2002
    Last year was the longest I've ever been able to keep mine alive... The last one finally passed in late September (and probably would have been fine if not for severe neglect).

    My best guess is to keep them fairly moist, and in bright but indirect light. I kept mine on a knee-wall right next to the front door. They got lots of COLD fresh air in the winter, and soft breezes all summer. I fed them Miracle-Gro (for SHAME!!!!) about once every six weeks or so, along with all the other houseplants, kept the dead leaves out, and made sure the soil didn't get to salty or start to mold. That was it. Surprised the heck out of me, too!