Selecting Poinsettias

poinsettia

Poinsettias are traditional Christmas plants that will last through the Christmas season and beyond. It is important to select the best plant for your home environment. The following are a few selection pointers:

  • Choose a plant with dark green foliage down to the soil line.
  • Choose bracts (modified leaves) that are completely colored.
  • Do not purchase poinsettias with a lot of green around the bract edges.
  • Do not choose plants with fallen or yellowed leaves
  • The poinsettia should look full, balanced and attractive from all sides
  • The plant should be 2 1/2 times taller than the diameter of the container
  • Choose plants that are not drooping or wilting.
  • Do not purchase plants that are displayed in paper or plastic sleeves. Plants held in sleeves will deteriorate quickly
  • Do not purchase plants that have been displayed or crowded close together. Crowding can cause premature bract loss
  • Check the plant’s soil. If it’s wet and the plant is wilted, this could be an indication of root rot
  • Check undersides of leaves for insects like aphids and whiteflies
  • Check the poinsettia’s maturity. Check the true flowers which are located at the base of the colored bracts. If the flowers are green or red-tipped and fresh looking the bloom will "hold" longer than if yellow pollen is covering the flowers
  • When you take the poinsettia home, be sure to have it sleeved or covered when outdoor temperatures are below 50°F.