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Plant Health Care: A Look at the Complexities of Working with Poinsettias | Columbia MD

Around the holidays, it is not uncommon for many home and business owners to ask us about including poinsettias in their properties’ landscaping. And knowing how beautiful the festive plants are, we don’t blame customers for asking about them. However, most are quite surprised when they learn how much work is involved in keeping the plants healthy year-round. So this week, we wanted to touch upon some plant health care basics:

Even though poinsettias are widely associated with snowy Christmas scenes, they are actually not cut out for cold weather. Classified as tropical plants, they typically need to be in environments that maintain air temperatures within the 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit range. Otherwise, they could perish rather suddenly.

Maintaining a certain air temperature range is not all there is to it. Poinsettias also have very specific needs when it comes to everything from natural sunlight, fertilizer, and water to repotting, pruning and flowering. For example, allowing the plant to receive too much sunlight could prevent it from blooming and may burn up its leaves. That said, it is sometimes difficult to get the plant to produce beautiful flowers in time for the start of the winter holiday season.

In addition, by their very nature, poinsettias are prone to developing a variety of diseases that could spread out to other plants. The rather long list includes, but doesn’t cease with bract spot, gray mold, powdery mildew, scab, crown gall, and bacterial stem or leaf rot. So in essence, failure to properly maintain a few poinsettias could feasibly cut a swath of devastation through a property’s other flower beds and require aggressive chemical treatments to reverse the situation.

To learn more about keeping poinsettias and other seasonal plants healthy, please contact us. We specialize in residential and commercial landscaping, irrigation, water management, and more.