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Poinsettia-Dropping-All-Its-Leaves-THUMB.jpg

Poinsettia Dropping All Its Leaves

Every year I buy a poinsettia and it looses all its leaves and looks ugly by the time the holidays arrive. Please help.

A long lasting poinsettia starts with safe transport from the store to your home. Those in colder areas should cover the plant with a plastic sleeve or set in a bag to protect it from cold temperatures. I double bag plants on extremely cold days. Never leave your plant sit in a cold car while you shop. Once home immediately remove the plastic sleeve. When the colorful bracts are bent upward they release a gas called ethylene. This stimulates ripening and speeds the decline of the plant. Next bend the foil down so the light can reach all the leaves. I either place pebbles in the bottom of the foil or punch holes in it and set it on a saucer. This way, when I water thoroughly I can pour the excess off avoiding root rot. Most sick poinsettias I diagnose are sitting in an inch of water in the base of the foil wrapper. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are slightly moist and crumbly. Keep your plant in a cool area away from drafts of hot and cold air. And don’t give up. Once you find the right combination of location and care you will be enjoying your poinsettia long past the holidays.

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