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Native to Mexico, poinsettias are in the¬†Euphorbia¬†family. They respond to cooler and shorter days by flowering. The red, cream, or showy “petals” are in fact bracts. The modest yellow center is actually their flower.

They do not like drops in temperature, like being left in a cold car for too long. Place in your brightest window and you will enjoy decorative bracts all the way into next year.

Poinsettias require consistent temperature of 65-70 degrees, avoid putting them near a window or location with any draft. Do not let your poinsettia dry out, they prefer evenly moist soil and should not be allowed to wilt.

After the holidays you can still enjoy them as a houseplant. Fertilize after the holidays to encourage new green foliage. It is rather difficult to successfully get them to re-bloom however. To try your hand at re-blooming, regularly fertilize and pinch back your plant throughout the growing season.

After September 1st, begin to reduce the light your plant receives by putting your plant in complete darkness (maintain 65-70 degree temperature) 15 hours a day. At next year’s Thanksgiving return the plant back to its regular sunny spot and cross your fingers!