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Keeping your festive Poinsettia thriving for Christmas and well into the New Year

Christmas is officially upon us, and across the UK, people are injecting festive cheer into proceedings with some seasonal greenery. It’s also the perfect time to invest in plants given the positive benefits festive foliage can have on our mood and general sense of wellbeing. According to new research from Ambius, 90% of office managers and business owners find that festive seasonal décor boosts employee wellbeing – while 85% of employees said that seasonal décor has a positive impact on their mood at work. 

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are indoor plants which, thanks to their bright red foliage and deep green leaves, have become a popular Christmas accessory over the years. Sold by many supermarkets and garden centres, they are the perfect plant to brighten up homes and office spaces over the festive period and are a more modest option if you do not have the space for a traditional Christmas tree. Other varieties of Poinsettia are also available in deep red (almost maroon), cream, pink and white. 

While they are in our homes and offices for just a short period of time, some people find Poinsettias notoriously tricky to care for, especially given their relatively short life span of around 4-6 weeks.   That said, with the correct care and light conditions, they are actually quite easy to keep looking their best and they can last well into the Spring.  

Here are our top five tips to ensure your Poinsettia thrives this Christmas period and beyond:  

  1. Remove the wrapping: Poinsettias must be unwrapped from their sleeves as soon as you get them indoors, as the stems of the leaves and bracts can droop if left in wrapping. Place next to a window or in a well-lit location
  2. Keep them warm: The Poinsettia species is indigenous to Mexico and accustomed to a warm climate. On purchasing your poinsettia avoid leaving it for too long in a cold vehicle and if carrying it back to the office/home in very cold weather then keep it wrapped and covered until you get it inside.   

Ensure you do not position them near cold draughts or outside doorways, and avoid watering them with cold water, as this can significantly reduce their lifespan.

  1.  Avoid over-watering: Poinsettias can consume a lot of water, but only require a small amount every few days. They should never be allowed to stand in a lot of water
  2. Give them a boost: Whilst wilting foliage is a sign your plant might be dying, soaking the root ball with warm water can revive limp Poinsettias, usually within an hour. 
  3. Make the right choice: While arguably more festive, red Poinsettias can fade in colour after three weeks, if left in low light. Choosing a white or pink Poinsettias could be a better option for longer display periods (four-five weeks)

Whatever greenery you end up choosing this Christmas, remember that every species of plant is different and requires a bespoke care regime. By following care instructions, you’ll ensure you get the most out of your plants this Christmas. And if ever in doubt, plant experts are always on hand to help you make the decision that works best for you.