Poinsettias: The ‘best temperature’ to keep houseplant or risk ‘shortening its life’

Royal Horticultural Society reveals how to care for poinsettia

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Festive poinsettias are the perfect way to add a hint of colour to Christmas decor. The plant, which is native to Mexico and Central America, is known for its red and green foliage and is widely used for Christmas displays in homes. The houseplant has become increasingly popular with Google trends data revealing searches for poinsettia have increased by 114 percent.

Roughly eight million poinsettias are sold in the UK every year.

Now, flower preservation experts at Magenta Flowers have compiled a helpful guide on looking after seasonal blooms, including poinsettias.

The experts shared how to keep the flowers fresh and vibrant over the festive period.

The gardening experts said a poinsettia that is looked after will thrive over the Christmas season.

The plant experts said: “A well-cared-for poinsettia should last four to six weeks before flowers may start to fall off, making them perfect for the Christmas season.”

To ensure a poinsettia thrives throughout the Christmas holidays, gardeners need to ensure the plant is kept in the “best temperature”.

The plant experts said: “Place it in indirect light – they need at least six hours of light daily.

“Keep it away from cold drafts and windows.

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“The best temperature is 16°C to 20°C, although lower temperatures are best.

“Higher temperatures will shorten its life, and the plant will require more water, so try to keep the temperature constant and avoid fluctuations.”

Another important tip from the plant experts was to avoid fertilising poinsettias while they’re in bloom.

Instead, gardeners should wait until well after Christmas.

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They added: “Once the flowers fall off if you intend to keep them past Christmas, use a houseplant fertiliser once a month.

“Check the soil frequently and water only when the soil feels dry.

“Make sure the pot has drainage, so water doesn’t accumulate in the base – poinsettias don’t like getting their feet wet!”

Poinsettias are actually toxic, despite their popularity.

They are less toxic than once believed but can lead to a mild itchy rash, stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhoea and eye irritation if a person is exposed to them.

The plant produces a milky sap which can cause redness and itching if it comes into contact with skin.

There are 150 different varieties of poinsettias including ones that are pink, orange, cream and white.

Red poinsettias are the best-selling followed by white and cream varieties.

Check out more from Magenta Flowers here

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