How to choose a Pointsetta

How to choose a Pointsetta

* First go to your local family owned, brick and mortar florist NOT a big box store. Geesh! Buy local! Do you know that for every $100 spent in a locally owned independent store, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

* Don't buy Poinsettia plants that have been left standing outside a corner store; they will already be dead or dying. Go figure why corner stores do this. I guess it works for spontaneous sales, but the reality is that Euphorbia pulcherrima (what a poinsettia is) cannot tolerate cold. These plants originate from Mexico h-e-l-l-o!

* Leaves should not be falling off. If the Poinsettia plant looks a little sparse and twiggy, it has probably been in its plastic sleeve too long. Now why would you want a sparse twiggy plant anyway ewww.

* Look for the cluster of yellowy-green flowers in the centre of each cluster of red leaves. These are the Poinsettia's plant's true flowers; the decorative leaves are actually brachts. The flower cluster should be firm and intact. If they are breaking off or if you can't see any, the plant is inferior. However refrain from pointing this out to the plant itself, it is doing it's best.

* Don't buy a Poinsettia plant if it stinks. Sniff the pot. If the roots are rotting from over-watering or poor air circulation, there will be a sweet, musty smell. This is a sign that the plant is already on the decline. Again why would you want a musty plant in your home?

How to get a Poinsettia plant home

* Take your plant home in a warm car immediately after buying it. Don't leave it in a cold car while you load all the wood you bought at a big box store as the car will be freezing even if you are running the heat full blast. Also don't go shopping for a couple of hours or even a couple of minutes after you purchase your plant at your local brick and mortar florist, take that baby home. Try to remember we live in New England folks and this plant is from MEXICO.

* Make sure your Poinsettia plant is well-wrapped, to avoid giving the plant a cold shock. It should come with a sleeve that can be stapled closed over the canopy of leaves.

How to care for it

* Keep your Poinsettia plant in a room where the temperature stays around 68 F to 70 F and where it will get indirect sunlight. Don't place it near a drafty windowsill. Or cook it by placing on a radiator. The latter happens more than you want to even think about.

* Keep it away from heat vents and avoid placing it too close to a fireplace where heat can scorch leaves and dry out the soil, killing the plant quite quickly.

* Don't over-water. This causes root rot. You can water from the bottom by standing the pot in a few inches of water in the sink for no more than 5 minutes, then let drain well before returning to it's spot in your home.
Carey's Flowers preferred watering method is to water under the plant just above the soil right at the pot line with approximately 1 measuring cup of water. Check the plant the next day if the soil is still moist that is plenty of water, if it seems dry add another 1/2 measuring cup of water. The water should not run out of the bottom of the plant and the soil should be just damp not wet or 'muddy' Each home a Poinsettia plant resides in will require a different amount of water due to things like: home temperature, type of home heating, amount of light plant is getting, etc. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering.

* Don't leave your plant in its paper protective sleeve for more than 48 hours maximum. The Poinsettia plant produces low levels of ethylene gas. If allowed to build up in the sleeve, this will cause leaves and bracts to droop or drop right off. This has nothing to do with your florist it has to do with the neglect of the plant, it needs to be out of it's protective sleeve once it's home.

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