Reaching for the right stars. What to consider when buying poinsettias.

With their lush green foliage and intensely coloured bracts, poinsettias make attractive showstoppers in any room in winter. With the right care, this winter flowering beauty can keep its colourful good looks well into spring, provided you pick the right plant in the first place. Because how good its prospects for a long life are is already determined at the time you buy it. The experts at Stars for Europe (SfE) reveal how to recognise fresh, healthy poinsettias and what else to look out for when buying them.

Dense foliage and budding flowers

You can recognise a fresh, healthy poinsettia by its dense, undamaged foliage that has no discolouration or deformed leaves, and by its budding flowers. If a plant is already losing leaves, look elsewhere. Another important indicator of freshness are the flowers. They are small and inconspicuous and are located in the middle of the coloured bracts. On a fresh poinsettia they will be yellow-green and in bud.


A bright, warm and sheltered location

Poinsettias need light to thrive. They don’t like cold and draughts. In a shop, plants should be placed in a bright, warm spot protected from draughts. Steer clear of poinsettias displayed in a draughty entrance area or outdoors in windy conditions and temperatures below 15°C, or in a dark corner of the shop. They may have suffered damage that will only become visible a week later when the leaves drop.

The right amount of water

Poinsettias shouldn’t be allowed to dry out completely or become soggy. Too much water in particular can cause lasting damage to the plants. It’s easy to check whether a poinsettia is getting the right amount of water: Simply lift the plant and its pot a little. If it’s very light or noticeably heavy, be wary of buying it. The plant should also not be standing in water. If in doubt, choose a different poinsettia.

Well protected on the way home

To ensure your poinsettias survive the journey to their new home unscathed in winter weather, they need to be well packed for transport. Specialist retailers should be well-eqipped for this and have the necessary packaging materials in store, such as paper to wrap your plant in.

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