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Poinsettias: Caring for your Holiday Plants

November 25, 2020

The Poinsettia is everybody’s favorite Christmas flowering plant. It is available not only in red, white and pink, but also many variegated and speckled varieties as well variegated and marbled varieties. A quality plant from a local florist or grower like Chester’s can look beautiful for many months with minimal care. Chester’s growers have taken care of all the growing details so you can enjoy your poinsettia with very little effort.

Poinsettia plants are originally native to Mexico and warmer climates than ours in Central New York. Contrary to popular beliefs, the colored leaves are not actually a flower – they’re specialized leaves called “bracts” and the actual flowers are the small yellow blooms in the center of these bracts.

Selecting your Poinsettia: Pick a plant which looks healthy, and has no wilting leaves or damaged flowers. Yellow leaves and wilted blooms are a sign of recent stress and will be hard to overcome. Most varieties will be purchased in full bloom this time of year and will not require any fertilizer during the rest of the flowering period.

Poinsettia Care

Sunlight & Temperature: The poinsettia is in the Euphorbia family, as are many cactus varieties, and is originally native to Mexico. Because of this, poinsettias likes sunlight, so keeping them within 4 feet of a window is a good idea. Avoid direct light, a nice bright, defused light is perfect. The ideal temperature for poinsettias is around 65 to 72 degrees, but they can tolerate as low as 60 degrees. Protect the plant from extreme drafts – both hot or cold.

Watering: Because poinsettias are native to warmer climates and is generally used to less rain,  they cannot tolerate over-watering. Only water your poinsettia it when it is dry and do not let it stand in excess water – every 1-2 weeks depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Watering with cool or lukewarm water can help prevent the spread of root disease as poinsettias like the soil temperature to be around 60 degrees. Cold tap water can lead to problems.

Longevity: It is common to have your poinsettia plant look beautiful well into winter and even early spring. By then you are ready to replace it. It is possible to keep the plant through the summer and get it to re-flower with care and patience.

Colors and Varieties: We have hundreds of the most popular colors of poinsettias in stock at Chester’s – including red, cream/white and pink. Chester’s also carries varieties like Jingle Bell, a marbled variety, and Ice Crystal, a variegated variety.


Newer to us and the poinsettia world is the Princettia Poinsettia. These poinsettias are more compact in size, and grow in hot pink, light pink and white colors. They look great on an office desk and are a great gift for someone in a smaller space like a dorm, hospital or nursing home.

This year poinsettias are a great choice for gift giving – we may not be able to see our loved ones in person, but we can send some love to them from far away. A poinsettia is a gift that will last the whole season and will remind your loved one that you care every time they look at it!


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