Royal Horticultural Society reveals how to care for poinsettia
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Poinsettias are a festive favourite for both the home and garden through the winter, offering a bright display of intense red petals and rich green foliage. With little else able to grow during the frosty British winter, poinsettias are the perfect addition to any garden bed or border. This hardy Christmas flower will thrive right through the season with the right care – and these are the two key rules for watering your garden poinsettias.
How do I care for my outdoor poinsettia?
Garden poinsettias are an easy winter flower to grow during the festive season.
The deep red petals contrast with the frosted green of a winter garden to create a stunning Christmas display of flowers right through the colder months.
The deep red hue of this stunning flower can quickly fade if given too much attention and needs little in the way of care to keep it thriving.
Poinsettias will grow bold and voluminous when given plenty of sunlight and just the right amount of water.
What is the best way to water poinsettias?
Poinsettias should be watered sparingly to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged and damaging the plant.
When it comes to watering your winter garden poinsettia, there are two key rules to go by.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), you should:
- Only water poinsettias when the surface of the soil has begun to feel dry
- Place potted poinsettias in a bowl of tepid water to allow the compost to soak it up for 10 to 20 minutes, before lifting from the bowl and returning to its decorative pot
Watering your indoor poinsettias is slightly different as the temperature is warmer inside the home.
Central heating and a lack of ventilation can leave your home feeling humid and warm, which is great for you – but not so good for your houseplants.
Poinsettias grown in pots as houseplants should be misted every day to extend their flowering period.
Not only will this make the bold red petals last longer, but it will also prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged, unlike traditional watering.
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Top tips for watering poinsettias
Watering your poinsettia correctly will keep this Christmas flower in bloom for longer and may even be healthy enough to keep for the following winter.
Taking a gentle approach to watering this festive plant is crucial, but there is more to think about than just the frequency of watering.
Using rainwater from a water butt to quench the thirst of your garden poinsettias will provide your plant with essential nutrients.
Rainwater is always the best liquid to feed your plants with – especially in hard water areas where tap water can be chalky and heavily treated.
Test the soil
Always touch the soil before watering to assess whether your poinsettias actually need a drink.
Use your index finger to pat down the soil for dampness and dig your finger into the depth of the compost to test whether it is waterlogged.
Damp soil requires no watering, dry soil indicates a thirsty plant.
Using a very small amount of water to regularly feed your poinsettia is more effective than giving it a heavy watering.
Splash two to three tablespoons of water on the soil every week.
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