Follow our top tips on looking after your Christmas poinsettia and this year’s plant should thrive well into 2016.
The right temperature
With their bright red bracts and festive green foliage, poinsettia plants make a great addition to your home during the Christmas season.
Poinsettias are native to Central America and as they originate from warmer climates than Britain's, it’s important to keep them in temperatures above 55F (13C). With this in mind, you need to make sure that no part of the plant touches a cold window pane.
The perfect place
Position your plant in good light, away from direct sunlight and hot and cold draughts that might be caused by radiators, fans, heaters or open windows and doors.
It’s worth keeping your poinsettia pot on a pebble tray, as a humid atmosphere will give the red bracts of your plant a longer life.
When you’re maintaining your plant, remember that it’s delicate and can break easily. Be sure to remove damaged stems or fallen leaves regularly and don’t fertilise your poinsettia while it’s still in bloom.
If your plant starts to wilt, soak the root ball with warm water and you should see it revive within an hour.
Trying to keep a poinsettia from year to year is tricky as it can be difficult to provide the right conditions for the plant to flourish. However, with the right care and attention, it can be done. If you want to give it a go, following these steps:
< In March, gradually reduce watering. Prune hard back once the plant drops its leaves and keep it fairly dry.
< In early May, increase watering. Re-pot when new shoots start to develop.
< Once established, feed weekly with a balanced liquid fertiliser.
< As the days shorten, from October 10th to 20th, give your poinsettia 12 hours of light each day.
< For the remaining 12 hours, keep it in darkness at a minimum temperature of 65F (18C). It's fine to supplement daylight with artificial light.