Squak Talk Blog

Poinsettias as houseplants?

“My poinsettia still looks fantastic!”

Each spring we hear reports from our customers that their poinsettia purchased for Christmas, is still growing strong in April, May and beyond. Naturally a small tropical tree, poinsettias can make fun year round companions in your home.

First, rest assured that poinsettias are NOT toxic. (If your child or pet were to consume a large amount of the plant you may have to deal with nausea or an upset stomach, but the fear of toxicity is completely without merit.)

Poinsettias like bright light and do not like temperatures below 50 °F. During the holiday season you can enjoy them in spaces that get lower light levels for several weeks. But to maintain plant health long term, place them near well lit windows and feed your plant with regular houseplant food every three or four weeks. Always avoid hot air vents and fireplace heat as these cause undue stress on your plant. You can also leave your poinsettia outside during the summer for even better exposure to the sun. The real trick is trying to help the bracts turn vibrant color for the next Christmas season. Poinsettias require long periods of uninterrupted darkness to create the color change. Starting about September 21st you must consistently provide 16 hours of complete darkness and 8 hours of bright light. Since you probably use lights in your home, try placing a box over the plant each day at the same time. Then remove it in the morning. If you miss even one day in the process, your plant will not color up properly. Our greenhouse team will have more beautiful poinsettias grown for your holiday cheer next year as well!

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