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 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.
Information from the University of Illinois Extension Poinsettia Pages.