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Decorating with Poinsettias | Christmas Decor

Decorating with Poinsettias | Christmas Decor
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by in Dec 2006

poinsettia-caHere are some facts about the Christmas star, or poinsettia, from The Old Farmer’s Almanac All-Seasons Garden Guide:

Despite popular lore, the poinsettia is not poisonous (although it may cause stomach upset if ingested). The number one holiday plant, it is sold in grocery stores, discount stores, and even on street corners.

When shopping for a poinsettia, look for healthy dark-green foliage all the way down to the soil line. Examine the true flowers, located at the base of the bright-colored bracts.

If these are green- or red-tipped and fresh looking, the plant will last longer than if they are covered with a yellow pollen. Avoid any plant with drooping, wilted, yellowing, or falling leaves.

The poinsettia prefers indoor temperatures of 60° to 70°, but if you can keep it at 50° to 60° at night, it will last even longer. Display it in a sunny window, but don’t let the leaves touch the glass. Keep the plant evenly moist, watering only when the soil is dry to the touch, and don’t let it sit in water. Protect it from chills or drafts.

Here are our favorite ideas for decorating with poinsettias from New Hampshire designer Matthew Mead:

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4 Responses to Decorating with Poinsettias | Christmas Decor

  1. Jenifer Lewis December 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm #

    “Poisonous” does not always mean “fatal,” but it always means, “This is not good for you.” While poinsettias can cause stomach upset in humans, they can cause a higher degree of illness in cats.

  2. Carol Fitzpatrick December 2, 2008 at 8:15 pm #

    I’ve also heard that they are not good thing for dogs. Any knowledge on that?

  3. Gail Goodwin December 3, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    Last season, I purchase a white poinsettia. It survived right through to late spring and as soon as the ground was warm enough, I planted it outside and It blossomed all summer. I planted in a half sun, half shade area.

  4. Cynthia Cicale December 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    I’ve already had them for a couple of years. The second season that I had it I could not believe it was turning color. It depends on the amount of darkness it gets in the fall to bloom that next Christmas. I have cats and would like to know if they can really make them sick? They are so beautiful and I would like to get a live one.

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