Monty Don’s important poinsettia care tips to keep plant ‘looking good for months’

Monty Don’s important poinsettia care tips to keep plant ‘looking good for months’

Sharing advice in his latest blog post, gardening expert Monty Don said: “Hundreds of thousands of poinsettias will be given as gifts this Christmas and with a little care these can be made to last, looking good for months.

“Poinsettias are only really comfortable in damp warmth. 

“Modern poinsettias grown as houseplants are treated with a growth retardant to create the familiar short, bushy shape we all know and love but in their native Mexico, poinsettias grow at the margin of the forest to a large 10ft high shrub.”

According to Monty, the plants do not like cold nights, very hot rooms or big fluctuations in temperature.

This means Britons should keep them where there is a constant average temperature, avoiding any type of draught as well as cold windows.

It is also important to keep them away from very bright spots where there is direct sunlight and it can get hot in the middle of the day.

Monty added: “They like plenty of water but let the compost dry out before giving them a really good soak, standing the pot in a sink full of water.

“Leave it to stand for 10 minutes or so before letting the excess water drain from the pot.”

Common symptoms of an overwatered poinsettia include yellowing or brown leaves as well as wilt in severe cases.

Misting plants can help to increase their humidity levels as well as prevent overwatering.

It only takes a couple of minutes and should be performed in the morning to allow them to dry out during the day.

Another popular festive plant is an amaryllis which is known for its gorgeous red petals, commonly planted from bulbs.

To help look after these festive plants, the flower preservation experts at Magenta Flowers, have put together a guide.

They explained: “One of the easiest flower bulbs to grow and care for, amaryllis produces large, colourful flowers and thrives indoors.”

However, when watering the houseplant, it is important to “never” allow it to sit in water.

The pros added: “Soil should be barely moist. Use the finger dip test to check the soil before watering by dipping your finger one inch into the soil.

“If the soil feels wet, wait to water. When watering, take care not to wet the portion of the bulb visible above the soil.

“Allow excess water to drain completely – you should never leave your amaryllis to sit in water.”

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