The Q&A Archives: Water needs of Poinsettias

Question: How much water is good for a huge poinsettia plant in a 10 inch pot? I recently acquired one an it is beautiful but dry. I have no clue what they need, water wise.

Answer: Poinsettias are a beautiful holiday plant with relatively few demands. Place your poinsettia in a room with sufficient natural light (a room you can read fine print on paper in during the daylight hours), check to be sure the soil is moist - water plant thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch. A poinsettia in a 10" container needs approximately 20 fl.oz. of water when soil dries out. Be sure to discard any excess water sitting in the drainage saucer. If your plant has a decorative foil wrapper around the pot either discard it or punch holes in the bottom to facilitate drainage. Keep the poinsettia away from ventilating ducts, heat from appliances, and hot or cold drafts; all of these will quickly dehydrate your plant. In about 2 wks. you may want to give your poinsettia a bit of complete fertilizer (such as 5-10-10), apply this to the soil at a rate of approximately 1 tbsp. per gallon of water. Fertilizer is not necessary, but it will prolong the beauty of the plant. To further prolong the beauty and bright color of the bracts, the room temperature where your poinsettia is should not exceed 72F during the day and 60F at night.

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