Loving your Poinsettia after the Holidays

Mark Peterson

When it comes to poinsettias, living in South Texas has its perks — you can incorporate them into your landscape for perpetual beauty beyond the holidays!

So, you received a poinsettia for Christmas. Congratulations! Living in South Texas has many perks. One of them is the opportunity to grow poinsettias post holidays.

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. Therefore, it’s a great plant for a large container outdoors or a specific bed.

The best locations in San Antonio for in-ground planting are south and west of downtown. If you are north of downtown, then it’s best to plant poinsettias in large containers that can be moved or wrapped.

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

  • If you’re planning to keep your poinsettia in a container, keep it inside or in a greenhouse with bright, indirect sunlight and good air circulation, but no direct drafts, until April 1. Water daily with 4-6 ice cubes.
  • If you’re planting it outdoors, cut the plant in half before planting and 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 for three weeks; gradually changing to 1 gallon every other week. Avoid getting stems and foliage wet.
  • Fertilize once a month during the growing season with small amount of organic fertilizer – ¼ cup or so will do. Some people swear by coffee grounds.
  • During the 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.
  • Do not mulch heavily, 1 inch at the most.
  • Stop pinching around mid-August.

Enjoy your poinsettia year round!

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