Purchasing the Perfect Poinsettia

Tis the season for poinsettias—the beautiful staple for holiday decorations everywhere.  And whether your favorite is red, pink, or white, the most important thing is selecting a healthy plant if you want it to last throughout the holidays. Here’s a few tips to get you the season’s best bloomer:

  • Choose a poinsettia with deep green leaves. Yellowish foliage might mean the plant has had too little light, too much water, or not enough nutrients.
  • If possible, purchase a poinsettia that does not have plastic wrap around the leaves. The plastic emits gases that are harmful to the plant and will cause leaves to drop. If the plant is already dropping leaves at the store, steer clear of it.
  • Look for little yellow blooms in the middle of the colored leaves. The yellow blooms are actually the flower of the plant, and if they aren’t present, the plant is already old.
  • Check the poinsettia for white flies. If you see little white bumps on the bottom of the leaves, put the plant right back. Don’t purchase another poinsettia from the store either, because if it isn’t already infested with the flies, it will be soon.
  • In winter weather conditions, keep your poinsettia covered with a shopping bag after purchasing it, and never place it in a cold trunk. Poinsettias don’t like temperatures below 50 degrees.

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