Poinsettias remain one of the most popular holiday plants, synonymous with Christmas décor and festive cheer. These rich red blooms will soon show up at garden centers and your favourite store.

Carla Hrycyna, the owner of St. Mary's Nursery and Garden Centre, says when placing a poinsettia, it’s important to avoid drafty locations.

“These [plants] grow in Mexico, so they do not want to have any type of coolness on them. It will cause leaf drop. It might not happen right away, but the leaves will start to curl," Hrycyna says.

“Poinsettias like light,” she says, “so place it near a sunny window for at least six to eight hours a day, a nice and bright location. But, again, if the window is very cool pull it back a little bit. You do not want it to be too cold.”

The plant is also known as Mexican flameleaf. Hrycyna says caring for a poinsettia requires proper watering.

“You get beautiful cover pots, and when I say it's a cover pot, you buy it in a plastic pot and you drop it into a pot that does not have drainage. Now when you're watering this, make sure you're lifting it. Take it to the sink, water it, let it drain well, and then put it into your beautiful color pot that sets the feeling that you want to have in your creative displays. Make sure you evenly distribute the water completely around the soil structure of your plant, because if you leave one side dry and one side wet, that's not good either.”

When re-planting poinsettias, Hrycyna says they prefer a light garden mixture of soil.

“Poinsettias pair well with a Norfolk pine or a tropical variety.”


Written by Chris Sumner and Terry Klippenstein