Poinsettias- I Planted Roots in Mexico

2010 December 2010 I Planted Roots in Mexico Nature Tommy Clarkson

By Tommy Clarkson from the December 2010 Edition

For quite some time poinsettias have gotten a bum rap with claims that they are poisonous. In fact, human or pet ingestion of them is probably no different than that of eating any other common houseplant – an upset stomach. Extensive testing has proven that they are not toxic or unsafe to have in one’s house or even being put into compost piles. Now, that having been said, these plants exude a milky sap to which some people might be sensitive and which could, in some cases cause an itchy rash. Accordingly, I’d recommend that one be careful to not rub one’s eyes after touching these plants.

For potted poinsettias there are four important factors: Light, heat, water and humidity. They prefer an optimum of indirect sunlight. So if kept inside they won’t like a window with a northern exposure! To maintain the longest blooming period possible, they like the 65 -75 temperature range and care not a whit for extreme shifts in temperature. Cold drafts or allowing the leaves to touch a cold window will cause leaf injury. Water when the potting soil feels dry and until it drains from the bottom, but do not let the plant sit in water. Lastly, as tropical plants, understandably, they prefer humid environs.

And, there are many on-line sites on keeping potted holiday poinsettias alive year around

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my friends, family and loyal readers, from Patty and Tommy Clarkson

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