Love and Care of Poinsettias

Poinsettias for the Holidays
Deborah Chaves

When you do your Christmas decorating and giving don’t forget the Poinsettia. Today’s poinsettias come in many colors ranging from the traditional reds, whites and pinks to multi-colors, gold, purple and burgundy. You may find blues, sparkles and polka dots this year also as growers expand their creativity through the use of floral paints.

The colorful bracts come in many shapes and sizes. One of my favorites is �Winter Rose’ which looks markedly like a rose unfurling. Then there’s �Strawberries and Cream” whose unique cream and dark pink bracts are oak leaf shaped.

Poinsettias require about 6 hours of bright light each day. Water when soil becomes dry to the touch but avoid letting the pots sit in standing water. Fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer after the blooming season and keep it away from excessive drafts. And don’t worry about the poinsettia being poisonous. That is a misconception according to the Paul Ecke Ranch, who propagate and develop poinsettia varieties.

If you are in the Leesburg, Virginia area November 30, December 1 or 2 stop by the Monroe Technology Center where I teach horticulture and you can purchase a plant or get more info on poinsettias. And if you have any questions about your poinsettia feel free to contact me, Deborah Chaves at and I will gladly try to help.

If you have need of personal landscape design I use digital photography to generate computerized simulations of your dream landscape. In addition, I am a horticultural and turf consultant. If you need these personal services please contact me.

Deborah Chaves
BS/MS Horticulture
Virginia Certified Horticulturist
Certified Virginia Greenhouse Grower
VA Certified Pesticide Applicator
703-431-9691 or

Published by Debi

I live in Leesburg, Virginia where I teach high school students in the Agriculture Department. Additionaly, I am self-employed as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer. "Beefriend the Bees!" and "Neither Here Nor There" are children's books I wrote and illustrated available from Amazon ( Chaves&x=12&y=25. Other interests include singing and playing my guitar (also have a CD for sale on Amazon called "Gardening Therapy"); walking my American Bulldog, Cloud and Olde English Bulldogge, Sky; staying active in my local church, and blogging on the

15 thoughts on “Love and Care of Poinsettias

  1. Thanks for the information about the poinsettias. Winter rose is my favorite too. I’ll see you on the 30th (and 1st and 2nd).

  2. I have never even seen one! Will you have them at your sale, if so, put one on hold for me and I will be there!!!

    I love this sale each year. It is the best.

    1. Yes we will have blue at the sale. I will put one on hold for Sara and MG. Thanks for the order. We will also have tie-dyed, burgandy, strawberries and cream, pink, white and Winter Rose. I look forward to seeing both of you at the Sale. Remember on Wednesday 11-30 we will have all you can eat Pasta for $7 for lunch and dinner.

    2. MG Henry says: If you have blue pointsettias, I want one too. I will fly home from the sunny south just to get mine. SAVE ONE FOR ME! Hey!! That’s what JESUS says!!!!

    1. Be careful Needles or you will have one in the mail. Debi loves those plants and believes we should all have them whether we can keep the living or not!!!!! 🙂

  3. Finally, Santa will arrive at sale today taking pics of kids and doggies. This is great fun for all but what time will all those homemade cookies arrive? Thanks to culinary arts for baking and giving us all those wonderful cookies year after year.

  4. I purchased the most amazing pointsettias that I have seen, ever. I thought last year’s were wonderful but at the plant sale, I found such marvelous ones and a glorious wreath that is gracing my front door; and I am soooo happy to have these lovely plants in my home for CHRISTMAS!! Good job! Excellent taste! Great workmanship; Fine skills!! CONGRATULATIONS TO DEBI & HER FINE CREW AT M.T.C.
    (ps…the cookies were good, too!) THANK YOU!!

  5. Paula from Birmingham Alabama has poinsettias and various houseplants and emailed me to ask about which ones can be grouped together and how to care for them inside during the winter.

    Generally houseplants with similar water; light; soil and temperature requirements can be grouped and grown together in a container with good drainage. In order to find out what these requirements are I would suggest that you search the web for specifics on each plant variety and then match them up according to their compatibility. Another great source for plant help and gardening advice is your local Master Gardeners program or a reputable local nursery.

    For good poinsettia advice on how to care for and rebloom your poinsettia you may want to visit

  6. How do they make blue poinsettias? A friend of mine came to school
    today (Mandeville, La) with one and she said she thought it was spray painted.

    I’ve seen the Christmas Rose and it is absolutely beautiful. A friend
    of mine when we went on a bus tour with our church got the last one,
    and it was a extraordinarily beautiful. She would only let us have a
    peek at it now and then. She felt she had to hold on tight to it.
    Maybe its a good thing she did.

    Thanks for the beautiful article

    1. “How do they make these blue poinsettias?”
      Rena this was a question I was asked repeatedly at the recent school plant sale from many who either loved them or were simply curious. Your friend is correct. Specially developed spray dyes are used. These dyes come in many colors and have special instructions for methods of application to achieve effects ranging from tye- dyed to striped to confetti or glitter. The Fred C Gloeckner horticultural supply company introduced a series called ‘Fantasy Colors’ to poinsettia growers that truly give poinsettias a whole new look.

      Your friend was probably wise to hold onto hers as these painted poinsettias have really been a sell-out!

  7. WHEN my [principals] received the BLue Poinsettias as their Christams gifts, the school halls rang with oohs & aahs! Teachers, secretaries all came running to see the divine blue poinsettias. They brought joy to the whole office. What a great gift. How gratifying!! Now I am thinking about the tie-dyed purple ones. Hmmmmm~~~

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