The holiday season is in full swing and Sherbondy’s greenhouse is filled to the brim with beautiful poinsettias of all colors.

Sherbondy’s is a locally owned and operated garden center and landscape firm. It’s a great place to bring the family all year long, especially in the winter time. Bring the kids for an indoor walk, feed their fish, visit their birds, and buy yourself some fresh greens between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

You just can’t beat a visit to a greenhouse in the winter. In the cold months, the warm air, the smell of dirt, and the sound of running water can’t be found anywhere else. It’s where I escape to experience summer in the winter.

If you pick up one of the most popular houseplants this time of year, a Euphorbia pulcherrima—also known as a poinsettia—or receive one as a gift, follow these easy tips to keep yours alive through the holiday season.

Poinsettias come in a plethora of colors and sizes from white to burgundy and are relatively easy to care for as long as you keep an eye on them.

Plant care
Poinsettias prefer a sunny location away from cold drafts or heaters, in a room between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to check the soil daily to see if the plant needs water. When the soil feels dry to the touch, water the plant thoroughly, but be careful not to over-water. A good way to avoid over-watering your poinsettia is to water the plant in the sink (without a saucer or foil wrap) and let the excess water drain into the sink.

I’ve noticed that I really need to keep an eye on my poinsettias. When you notice slightly droopy leaves or leaves that have begun to curl, your plant most likely needs water.

Caring for your poinsettia after the holidays
Some people choose to discard their poinsettias after the Christmas season. However, you can follow these steps to keep your poinsettia going all year-long and then, maybe, it’ll bloom again next year.

In May, trim your plant back to about four inches tall and divide (split) the plant into multiple plants if needed. Begin to fertilize every two to three weeks. Your poinsettia can be moved outside during the summer.

In July, you will need to pinch back your stems to create a fuller plant. Doing this will force your poinsettia to be more of a round shape instead of long and leggy.

Poinsettias are “short-day” plants and need to receive less than 12 hours of sunlight for eight to 10 weeks. Your plant needs to be on a short-day schedule by early October for it to provide holiday color. Do this by setting your poinsettia in a spot where it will receive sunlight for 12 hours and then move it to a dark room for the remainder of the day.

Look for a new variety of poinsettias on the market called the “Princettia®,” a smaller, daintier version than the common plant for something unique this year.

If poinsettias aren’t your thing, check out the numerous other house plants, gardening supplies, or home décor available at Sherbondy’s to bring a little summer into your life this winter.

Learn more about Sherbondy’s on their website.  
Visit Melissa Peterson’s blog for more great tips on how to care for poinsettias.

This post was originally published on December 18, 2018 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.