Alan Titchmarsh shares how to avoid a ‘temperamental’ Poinsettia and where not to buy one

Alan Titchmarsh gives advice for people with small gardens

The Poinsettia has become a Christmas staple in most households across the UK. The stunning plant, known for its huge red flowers and pointy leaves, is widely used for Christmas floral displays. However, according to Alan Titchmarsh, the Poinsettia can be “temperamental” if you don’t know how to look after it.

The gardening expert and TV presenter explained in a video for Waitrose in 2015 what tips Poinsettia owners can put in place to help it live for longer.

He said: “The Poinsettia has become the Christmas pot plant.

“Not surprising really is it? If you think how well it suits our living conditions.

“There are several things you need to bear in mind to stop it being a bit temperamental.”

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Alan’s first poinsettia top tip was a fairly simple one: “Don’t stick it on the window sill.”

He added: “It’s cold out there and the frost can come through the glass.”

“Instead, position it about a metre in from the window. Then it’s getting really good indirect light.”

The gardening pro then explained how frequently poinsettias should be watered.

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“Feel the surface of the compost. If it feels like a freshly rung out flannel – damp to the touch – it’s fine.

“Don’t overwater it. That can result in the leaves dropping off.

“When you’re bringing it home, make sure it’s well-wrapped up.

“Being native to Mexico, it’s susceptible to being chilled and when it’s chilled the leaves in a week or two will turn black and fall off.”

Alan said that if plant owners get “all these things right” the Poinsettia could last until Easter.

Alan, who now hosts Love Your Weekend With Alan Titchmarsh, explained on Lorraine in 2017 how Poinsettia fans can check whether their plant has been kept warm.

He explained that owners can “gently” pull on the leaves of a Poinsettia when they’re buying it to see if it’s been kept in a warm or cold environment.

He said not to buy them from somewhere “drafty” but from a garden centre or somewhere “where they’ve been kept warm or a store”.

He added: “I’m sorry market traders, but not from a chilly market stall where they’ve been blown by freezing winds because a few days later the leaves drop.”

Alan also had a handy tip for those wishing to avoid overwatering their Poinsettia.

“If you stand them on a tray of gravel that you keep moist, it will give them a little Turkish bath. That’s helpful as well.”

Love Your Weekend With Alan Titchmarsh is available to watch on Sundays at 10am on ITV.

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