Post-holiday Poinsettia Care

Living in South Texas has its perks. One of them is the opportunity to grow poinsettias for annual holiday beauty.

If you’ve been taking proper care of the poinsettias prior to and during the holidays, then you have the opportunity that many people in the rest of the country do not. Incorporate them into your landscape for perpetual beauty!

Poinsettia is a semitropical but semiarid plant. In other words, it does not like temperatures below 40 degrees or being watered every week. It’s a perfect plant for a large container outdoors or a specific bed in the landscape.

Follow these tips to keep your poinsettias thriving beyond the holidays.

  • Keep your poinsettia inside or in a greenhouse with bright, indirect sunlight and good air circulation (no direct drafts) until the danger of freezing temperatures has passed.
  • Water daily with 4-12 ice cubes.
  • Cut the plant in half before planting in an outdoor container or bed.
  • Plant in a sunny, well-drained location, well out of the way of chilling winds and frost pockets.
  • Water initially after planting with ¼ gallon of water three times a week; gradually changing to 1 gallon every other week. Avoid getting stems and foliage wet.
  • During growing season, keep them bushy and compact by pinching off the top 1 inch of new shoots when they reach 5 or 6 inches long.
  • Stop pinching around mid-August.

Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a small amount of organic fertilizer.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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