Poinsettias to avoid buying in shops – plant is ‘on its way out’

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Poinsettias are known for their dark green leaves and red bracts that encompass green-yellow flowers. The plants are native to Mexico so can be tricky to keep alive in a UK household. However, with some care and attention, it’s possible to keep the plants alive for the Christmas period and longer.

Gardening expert and director of Easy Garden Irrigation, Sean Lade has explained how to care for poinsettia plants this winter.

Sean said poinsettias are “very common” around Christmas with their dark green leaves and large strikingly red bracts (leaves around the flowers).

He told Express.co.uk: “Nothing gets you more into the Christmas mood than a poinsettia, at least in the plant world.

“As lovely as they are, poinsettias are challenging to keep.

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“They are susceptible to fluctuations in temperature and will quickly start to wilt if kept too cold or in a draught.”

Sean said when buying a poinsettia gardeners need to ensure the plant has been kept at the correct temperature.

He continued: “When buying one, you should look for those stored indoors, as when displayed outdoors below 13C, they are more than likely on their way out before they get back home.

“Even a quick walk between the shop and the car when it’s freezing outside can be enough to harm it.

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“Once it is at home, remember to avoid draughts and radiators.

“Water once the top of the soil feels dry, and don’t let it fully dry out. They also like plenty of bright daylight.

“If your Poinsettia managed through the Christmas Holiday, pat yourself on the back; you did well.

“If you plan to keep it until next Christmas, consider some things.

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“During January – February, they will naturally drop their leaves. Keep it in a bright spot and start trimming the plant to encourage side branching.”

Fiona Jenkins at Myjobquote.co.uk, the UK’s leading trades matching site said poinsettias naturally grow in “humid” climates.

Regularly misting the plant will increase humidity and help to keep the poinsettia plant happy.

Fiona explained further: “This is especially important while it’s in full colour as it’ll keep your poinsettia looking bright and healthy.

“And keep the compost moist but not wet. After December, give the plant a boost with a liquid tomato feed that’s high in potash.

“For best results position your plant in a draught-free spot with plenty of indirect natural light.

“Try to keep it at a regular temperature of around 15°C. Once it turns to spring, you can repot your poinsettia.”

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