How to Select a Poinsettia

My Garden Life
December 11, 2020
Table of Contents
Poinsettias are synonymous with the holiday season and their colorful bracts add a bright, cheerful touch to the dark days of winter. Your original plant selection can make a big difference in how well your poinsettias hold up in your home. Here are some tips on how to choose a poinsettia to ensure that you’ll enjoy the best-looking display from December into the New Year.

Bract Color

Red poinsettia close up

Look for plants with fully mature, thoroughly colored and expanded bracts i.e. the colorful parts of the poinsettia. Avoid plants with too much green around the bract edges. Bracts come in white, pink, peach, yellow, marbled or speckled, as well as the traditional red. Plenty of dark, rich green leaves is a vital sign of good plant health. Look for plants with dense, plentiful leaves all the way down the stem.

Shape and Proportion

white poinsettia for sale

Proper proportion of plant height and shape relative to pot size is the key to an aesthetically pleasing poinsettia. Plants should appear balanced, full and attractive from all angles. A generally accepted standard is that the plant should be approximately 2 1/2 times taller than the diameter of the container.

Durability and Freshness

poinsettias for sale

Select plants with stiff stems, good bract and leaf retention, and no signs of wilting, breaking or drooping. Be wary of plants displayed in paper, plastic or mesh sleeves. A poinsettia needs its space; the longer a plant remains sleeved, the more the plant quality will deteriorate. When transporting the plant, protect it from chilling winds and temperatures below 50 degrees F. Inserting the poinsettia into a sleeve or a large, roomy shopping bag will usually provide adequate protection for transporting the plant home when it is cold and windy.

Pest and Disease-Free

mealybugs on leaf

Examine the soil of the plant. Avoid waterlogged soil, particularly if the plant appears wilted. This could be a sign of irreversible root rot. Inspect the undersides of the leaves and in the nooks where the leaves join the stems for possible insect pests.
poinsettia on coffee table

Once you have your poinsettia home, you’ll be able to keep it healthy and happy with our tips on how to Keep a Poinsettia Looking Good Longer.


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