Poinsettias are a must-have for many homes at Christmas, but far too often they don’t make it past the moment when all of the other decorations come down.
The plants have a bit of a reputation for being hard to look after and keep going, but a good-quality poinsettia, cared for properly, could actually still be thriving at Easter – and beyond.
So what’s the trick? One of the main things to remember is to put your plant somewhere with plenty of light but not in direct sunlight and out of any draughts.
Poinsettias are prim little plants, and they don’t like too much to drink. A bit like humans, overwatering can cause them some serious harm. Wait until the top of the compost starts to become dry, and then give them a good drink.
They like a humid atmosphere, so put the plant pot on a tray of pebbles. You could also use a plant pot saucer filled with pebbles from the beach or garden – or even marbles if you have them to hand. This will allow your poinsettia to benefit from the humidity as the water in the tray or saucer evaporates.
If your poinsettia makes it to March, reduce how much water you give it gradually and prune it back hard when it has lost its leaves. Keep it fairly dry until the start of May, and then give it a new pot once it starts shooting.
Once it’s established, make sure you feed it every week with a multi-purpose plant food.