It’s that time of year again. Leaves have fallen. Days are shorter. The skies are a little grey. The air is crisp. If it is your first winter with us in Chicago, you are learning all about dibs. At Phillip’s Interior Plants, this time of year means that we find ourselves knee deep in a sea of Poinsettias on a daily basis! We LOVE Poinsettias, but we recognize they can be a bit challenging to care for. We have put together some tips to help even the most novice of Poinsettia owners get through the holidays with their plants looking their best!
WHEN POINSETTIAS ARRIVE
Poinsettias are generally purchased or delivered in paper or plastic sleeves. You will want to unsleeve your Poinsettia immediately when it arrives at your location. The flowers are actually bracts (modified and colorful leaves) that produce a gas called ethylene. Leaving the Poinsettia in its sleeve for too long will cause the Poinsettia to wilt. Poinsettias cannot be revived once they have wilted due to ethylene exposure.
HANDLE WITH CARE
Poinsettias bruise easily. Be gentle when moving them.
Poinsettias are native to Central America, and they do best near a non-drafty window with a decent amount of sunlight. An east facing window will allow the plant to soak in morning sunlight and enjoy the afternoon shade. Poinsettias are so sensitive to temperature that you will want to be sure that no part of the plant is touching the windowpane itself. Don’t place Poinsettias near doors. An ideal temperature for Poinsettias is a constant 65 – 75 degrees.
If you plan to relocate your Poinsettia mid-season (e.g. you plan to take an office Poinsettia home with you on December 23rd to enjoy with your family over the duration of the holidays), retain its plastic delivery sleeve so as not to expose it to December weather. Remember to unsleeve your Poinsettia as soon as you arrive at your destination. In the event that you have discarded the sleeve that came with your Poinsettia, the plant can be very, very carefully placed in a plastic garbage bag. Pick the Poinsettia up by the container when you carry it. One last thing, be sure to keep your car nice and toasty. On a cold day, you may want to let your car warm up before placing your Poinsettia inside.
Keep the soil of Poinsettias slightly moist and add water as soon as the soil surface feels dry. They will take a lot of water for the first couple of weeks and then taper off, depending on the environmental conditions. Keep water off the leaves and flowers when watering so that ugly, brown spots don’t develop. Poinsettias often have saucers installed inside their basket or foil. When watering, ensure the water does not overflow from the saucer, which would cause the baskets and foil to leak.
We know that even though everyone has time to enjoy Poinsettias, not everyone has time to maintain them! That’s why Phillip’s Interior Plants offers Chicagoland businesses optional Guaranteed Maintenance Service for all holiday and year round plants. See the our Poinsettias or Holiday Plant Order Forms for details!