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POV: Pointers for your poinsettia

• Insist that your plants be wrapped well in a paper sleeve before you take them to your car. Be mindful that these are tropical plants and are easily damaged by cold and that means any temperature below 50 degrees.

When you get the plants home, carefully remove the paper covering and observe the following guidelines:

• Place you poinsettia in indirect light for six hours daily.

• Be careful not to let leaves touch window panes, or be in an area subject to drafts or by open windows or doors

• Poinsettias in bloom prefer a daytime temperature in the range of 60 to 70 degrees and night time around 55 degrees or as close to that as possible.

• Check the soil daily and water when dry and the entire plant feels light when picked up. Water thoroughly and allow water to drain away and be discarded — do not allow the plant to sit in water!

If you purchase poinsettias as gifts, slip the sleeve down or off until you are going to deliver the plants and re-cover it at delivery time. With proper care, poinsettias will last well past the holiday season. Should you wish to try your hand at re-flowering your poinsettia, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office for guidelines.

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