The ideal location for your poinsettia

To ensure your poinsettia feels completely at home and lasts as long as possible, it’s important to put it in the right place: the best spot for a poinsettia is bright and warm, because these heralds of Christmas originate in tropical Mexico.

But what is the ideal temperature for a poinsettia in its perfect location? Can poinsettias tolerate direct sunlight? When does a poinsettia get too cold and what happens then? In this blog we’ll answer these and other questions about the best home for your poinsettia. Let’s get started! 😊

What’s the ideal temperature for poinsettias?

Poinsettias do best at a constant warm temperature of between 15 and 22°C. This means they like neither too much cold nor great heat. In a stuffy living room, it quickly becomes too warm for them.

Even above a hot radiator, or next to a stove or fireplace, the temperature will be higher than is good for a poinsettia. At temperatures around 20°C, your poinsettia will do much better in winter than in very warm rooms.

Important: The warmer it is, the more often you need to water. Just push your finger gently into the soil to find out if your poinsettia needs water. If the soil inside the pot feels warm and dry, it needs a drink. Alternatively, lift the pot. If it feels noticeably light, reach for the watering can.

You can find out more about watering in this blog “Watering poinsettias properly”.

Can a poinsettia tolerate cold?

As a heat-loving plant, poinsettias don’t like cold. They mustn’t be exposed to temperatures below 15°C for long periods. If the thermometer shows less than 12°Cthere is even a risk of cold shock and your plants will drop their leaves. This can happen the day after, but sometimes it happens later.

To avoid this, wrap your poinsettia well for the journey home after purchase and get it into the warm as soon as possible. Also, never buy poinsettias displayed in a garden centre or supermarket in the cold entrance area or outside. It’s highly likely they have already suffered cold damage. Read more about what to look for when buying poinsettias in this blog “Tips for buying poinsettias”.

Tip: If your poinsettia is placed on a cold surface at home, such as a stone windowsill, place the pot on a cork mat to keep the roots warm.

Can my poinsettia tolerate direct sun?

As tropical plants, poinsettias like to stand in bright light. In Europe, however, the poinsettia season falls in the darkest part of the year.

In December, there are fewer than eight hours between sunrise and sunset in mainland Europe.

In Mexico, on the other hand, there are more than 11, so a poinsettia can hardly get too much sunlight in Europe in winter 😉

The location of your poinsettia should be as bright as possible. A place near a window is ideal and a south-facing one is perfect. If the plant gets too little light, it will shed its leaves.

Beware of cold window panes, though. If possible, the poinsettia’s foliage shouldn’t touch them.

Can I put my poinsettia in the entrance area?

A place next to your front  door is not suitable. Draughts are poison for poinsettias. They react by shedding their leaves, just as they do when it’s too cold. Always keep your poinsettia away from open windows and doors and move it to a sheltered place before you air a room.

Can I put my poinsettia in the bathroom?

Yes, why not? Provided your bathroom has plenty of daylight.

The high humidity is good for poinsettias. However, be careful when airing the room, as they  don’t tolerate cold draughts.

Is a location in a kitchen or bedroom suitable?

The temperature in a kitchen or bedroom is often more pleasant for a poinsettia than in a living room.

Important: Wherever you put it, there must be enough light and the poinsettia mustn’t be exposed to cold draughts.

In a kitchen, don’t place your poinsettia next to a fruit bowl. Certain types of fruit, such as apples or bananas, emit ethylene, a ripening gas that causes plants to age more quickly.

Can I put my poinsettia outside?

It all depends on the outside temperatures. In Tenerife, for example, poinsettias are popular bedding and balcony plants at Christmastime. In more northerly latitudes, this is unthinkable, as temperatures below 12 °Care deadly for poinsettias.

It is different in summer? If you keep your poinsettia after its flowering period, you can certainly place it outdoors in a sheltered spot during the summer months.

You want to decorate a place that’s not suitable with poinsettias? No problem 😊. You don’t have to miss out. Cut poinsettias will brighten up any room. Find out more in this blog “Poinsettias as cut flowers”.