Five things to know about poinsettia plants | THE COMPLEAT HOME GARDENER

‘Tis the season to gift someone a poinsettia plant, according to Marianne Binetti.

The first week of December is Poinsettia season. Giving a living plant is a thoughtful gift for someone that doesn’t have the space to store holiday decorations.

Living gift plants can go into the compost or recycling bin at the end of their season. Meanwhile they give off oxygen, improve air quality, are free of calories, don’t need to fit a certain body type and you don’t have to remember to spend them like gift cards. A gift plant can be enjoyed by everyone that walks into a room.

Five Things to Know about Poinsettia Plants

1.) Buy a poinsettia now – or as early as you see them for sale. The new varieties hold their color for months so there is no reason to wait until it is closer to the holidays. Giving a poinsettia early not only allows more time to enjoy the winter color but also spreads the giving and getting of a gift over the entire season instead the frantic last few days before Christmas.

2.) Poinsettias will get root rot if they sit in drainage water. Remove the foil or poke drainage holes into the bottom of a foil wrapped pot. Use a saucer to catch drainage water but them empty it after the plant drains.

3.) Poinsettias hate the cold. Don’t leave a potted poinsettia in a cold car or unheated garage or you could find it dropping leaves and giving you the cold shoulder.

4.) You don’t need to fertilize your poinsettia plant. A plant in full bloom will remain colorful for months (see number one). Too much plant food can cause burning on the leaves of your poinsettia and foliage drop.

5.) Poinsettias come in many colors – be creative.

Gold poinsettias wrapped in blue foil can say “Happy Hanukkah.” Give candy canes with poinsettias that display read and white leaves. Use white and cream colored poinsettias to add class to modern interiors by displaying them with silver or gold metallic accents.

Hanging poinsettia baskets add drama to an entry way or room with cathedral ceilings. There are tiny poinsettias that can fit into a coffee mug and make great “cubicle gifts” to dress up an office.

A chorus line of poinsettias can run up a staircase to put on a really big show and if you don’t have real flames in your fireplace fill the vacant space with pots of poinsettias. Poinsettias are adaptable house plants as long as you keep them away from extremes of heat and cold and don’t let the soil dry out.

Here is a misconception to correct about poinsettias. They are not poisonous plants. Some people are sensitive to the milky white sap of the cut stems (it can give a skin rash) but poinsettia plants are safe to use around pets and kids.

More in Life

Cruz the Loop and Return to Renton Benefit Car Show set for July 6, 7

Hot Rod weekend, downtown, will have some street closures.

Join author Kurt Armbruster for a discussion of his latest book, “Pacific Coast, Seattle’s Own Railroad” at 6 p.m. May 16 at the Renton History Museum, 235 Mill Ave. S. Courtesy photo
Upcoming events: Pacific Coast Railroad history lesson; coffee with Renton cops

Symphony: Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Spring Masterworks Concert will highlight Tchaikovsky’s Symphony… Continue reading

Renton Rotary’s Youth of the Month for May

Five Renton students were selected as May 2019 Youth of the Month to finish off the school year.

Gardeners love our veggie-friendly Western Washington climate

Here are the most incredible edibles to grow now.

A look back at Black River

Renton History Museum hosts event with Seattle writer and natural history expert David Williams.

It is a busy time in the garden with planting

Near the end of April the nurseries will be overflowing with color.… Continue reading

Thom Cantrell, one of the organizers of the upcoming International Conference for Primal People, holds up a mould of a Sasquatch footprint. He said the mould was taken in the Blue Mountains in Oregon by Paul Freeman, a well-known Sasquatch hunter who’s 1994 footage of a Sasquatch in that area made big waves in the believer and skeptic communities alike. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
All things Sasquatch in Enumclaw

Washington state is famous for countless reasons. It’s the birthplace of Starbucks… Continue reading

RHS Students gear up for Bubblin Brown Sugar dance competition

The competition is April 27 at Garfield High School.

Special police partners honored

King County Sheriff’s Office dedicates new memorial to honor K9 service dogs and handlers.

How to be a backyard micro farmer

Do you have a small space? Perhaps just a balcony or patio… Continue reading