Experts share where you shouldn’t keep poinsettia if you want to keep it alive

With the festive season in full force, a lot of people replace their usual house plants or flowers for a 'festive' poinsettia.

Despite the fact the poinsettia actually comes from an area in southern Mexico called Taxco del Alarcon, we keep them in our homes at Christmas time to help us celebrate the festive season.

We consider them as a Christmas flower since many people give them around this time to symbolise good will and community spirit. In religious communities, the shape of the poinsettia flower is also though to symbolise the Star of Bethlehem, with the red leaves of the poinsettia symbolising the blood of Christ.

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However, a lot of people find in tough keeping their poinsettia alive to actually see Christmas Day. And experts say there is one place in particular you should avoid placing them if you want your poinsettia to thrive this Christmas.

What kind of poinsettia should I buy?

If you're buying your poinsettia from a garden centre or supermarket, it's best to make sure it's in good condition and that no leaves are wilting. If the leaves are wilting, this could be a sign that they've been stored in cold conditions. You should also avoid buying poinsettias that have been displayed near a door or even on a petrol station forecourt as they aren't like to last.

Try and make sure your poinsettia is well protected on the journey home from the shop and ensure its delicate leaves aren't exposed to freezing temperatures. You could even ask the shop assistant to wrap it up or cover it in a plastic bag if you're worried it may get damaged It's also best not to leave your poinsettia in the car for longer than is necessary as temperatures can quickly tumble and your poinsettia will suffer.

Where should I place my poinsettia in my home?

You'll want to put your poinsettia in a bright, draught-free spot out of direct sunlight. Ideally, you'll want somewhere with an average temperature of around 13-15ºC. The one place you should keep it away from is windows, according to Garden's World, as this is where temperatures can fall significantly at night. You should also probably not place it near doorways and open fireplaces, as these can be draughty.

How should I look after my poinsettia?

It's best to only water your poinsettia if the surface of the compost is dry, and continue to water it only sparingly. It's recommended to gently spray the plant with water every few days, as this will help keep the leaves and bracts in the best condition. You should also dust the leaves as and when you need to, to keep your poinsettia looking its best.

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