Poinsettias: Houseplant expert shares why ‘people fail’ when caring for poinsettia plants

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Poinsettias are native to Mexico and are known as “Flor de Nochebuena” or the “Christmas Eve Flower”. In their native Mexico, poinsettias grow into trees and are kept outdoors. In the UK, poinsettias are seasonal and are most commonly seen in homes across the country.

CEO of independent houseplant site Friends or Friends, Silver Spence, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how to choose the right poinsettia and what light conditions they prefer.

Silver explained that “colour is a privilege with plants”.

She said: “You will not get a really colourful plant if it’s not tended to properly.

“What you want to do, to get it like this, you need to get it sun-stressed – which is why a lot of people fail.”

The plant pro explained that due to their colour, poinsettias need to be exposed to “as much light as possible”.

She continued: “Depending on the variety, you have to pay attention to how much cold it needs.

“In Mexico, they can get quite frosty – for the red ones.

“But I know there are some that have been bred to be indoors.

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“I don’t think they can take as much cold.”

Poinsettias in the UK are mainly bred to be kept indoors and need a minimum temperate of 13-15°C (55-59°F).

You should watch out when you’re transporting your poinsettias from the shop to your home as they can get cold.

In some cases, they might start wilting and then continue to droop even if you keep them in a warm sunny spot.

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Poinsettias keep in cold conditions before you buy them can be irrevocably damaged.

Silver said depending where you buy your poinsettia from could depend on their variety.

She said: “If you get one from a supermarket as opposed to a garden centre, you might be looking at completely different varieties.

“I would suggest if you’re going for a poinsettia, and you want to keep the colour as much as possible, go for a lighter coloured one because they will need less sunlight.”

When you buy a poinsettia, you can ask the shop to wrap the plant in paper to protect it when you transport it.

Poinsettias need to be watered sparingly, only when the compost has started to dry out.

Friends or Friends is the UK’s number one destination for baby plants.

They’re a small independent company bringing affordable houseplants to your doorstep – because plants are friends.

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