Picking a perfect poinsettia isn’t easy to say, but it can be pretty easy to do! Here at Heeman’s, we care for thousands of poinsettias each year, so we know a thing or two about these holiday favourites.

Picking the Perfect Poinsettia

There are hundreds variations in poinsettia colours and patterns out there, from deep red to speckled whites and pinks. At Heeman’s we offer some beauties, but no matter which you choose, the most important thing is to pick a healthy plant for a lasting show! Here’s how:

Pink poinsettia plants
  • Pick it up. When you find a poinsettia you like, pick it up and examine it from the side. The poinsettia should be as wide as it is tall, which tells you the plant has good sturdy stems.
  • Fresh or fading? The little buds in the centre of each red bloom reveal the age of your plant. Bright yellow buds mean the plant is still fresh, but if the buds have a dark colour, move on to the next one!
  • Protection for perfection. Poinsettias are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature. To keep your plant looking its best even in our frigid London air, keep it bagged to protect it from the wintery journey home.

Poinsettia Care

Once you make it home with your poinsettia, it’s time to set the scene with some red and green! Follow these points to set ya up for success:

caring for poinsettias quote
caring for poinsettias red jingle bells
  • Climate control. Keep them away from windows, doors, or heat vents where the temperature goes up and down like Santa in the chimneys on Christmas Eve. Come to think of it, avoid putting them near chimneys, too!
  • Merry and bright. Poinsettias are tropical plants, and they thrive in bright, indirect light.
  • ‘Water’ the odds! Upside-down watering will keep those poinsettia roots nice and evenly watered without damaging your beautiful foliage. Simply place your poinsettia pot on top of a dish of water, or in a sink with an inch or so of water in it, and let the water soak through the drainage holes, directly into the roots.
  • Give them space. We all know what it’s like to feel a little overcrowded at the holidays! A crowded poinsettia won’t spread out, it’ll just grow taller – and we’re going for Christmas magic, not Jack’s magic beanstalk! Give your poinsettia lots of space to keep it looking full.

Aren’t Poinsettias Poisonous?

The most commonly known fact about poinsettias is that they are poisonous, right? Well, not quite – and whoever started that rumour deserves a lump of coal!

While both the Mayo Clinic and the ASPCA report that the sap can cause irritation, both agree that the poinsettia is very low in toxicity. In fact, according to a study at Ohio State University, a 50 lb. child would have to eat around 500 poinsettia leaves to get sick!

Poinsettias are actually quite harmless when eaten, and while I don’t recommend recreating the salad I chomped down on to prove that fact, having one in the house won’t harm you or your pets. (Although, it might give you a bellyache – I did find that out!)

Poinsettias make great gifts and they’re so easy to take care of. A healthy poinsettia will bring good cheer, from Christmas Eve right into next year!