Poinsettia is losing leaves

Poinsettia is losing leaves

Question: Poinsettia

On January 6, I received a Christmas star as a gift. Transplanted into a larger pot, it has lost all the leaves in the lower part and in the upper part, now the remaining ones are all edged in dark and gradually they also fall; on January 7 I wet this plant and then I only sprayed the surface with a nebulizer because it was dry: the ambient temperature is around twenty degrees. How can I save her? thank you for the valuable advice you will want to give me.

Poinsettia Loses Leaves: Answer: Poinsettia

Dear Rose, good morning and welcome to the section of our website dedicated to readers' questions. The poinsettia is a beautiful plant native to Mexico, which has become a symbol of Christmas thanks to its bright red flowering that takes place just before Christmas.

Used to living at higher temperatures than in Italy, the poinsettia is grown in heated greenhouses. The element that determines the flowering of poinsettias is the duration of the hours of darkness or the duration of the night. When the hours of oxen reach a high number as happens in the month of December, the plant induces flowering.

It is very important to have beautiful blooms that the hours of darkness are not interrupted by sudden light. In practice, it is strongly discouraged to keep poinsettias in rooms subject to artificial lighting in which the lights are turned on at night. An interruption of the hours of darkness causes problems in the plant that inhibit flowering and for this reason it is advisable to keep poinsettias in well-lit rooms during the day but are not frequented at night.

A fall of the leaves in the period following flowering is most often attributable to a sudden cold. While a slight defoliation is normal and physiological, an excessive defoliation is almost always due to a shock of the plant caused by sudden low temperatures.

In fact, often even changing the air in the rooms when it is very cold outside the home can be risky because a sudden drop in temperatures can result in a defoliation of the plant.

I'll bring you a piece of my blog post on what to do. I recommend with the wetting and do not let them receive direct sunlight.

"If the star is losing its leaves this is normal. Levale. The plant has finished flowering. Once completely finished you can cut the stems leaving about 8/10 cm. Avoiding making them take DIRECT LIGHT."

Chiara Brunori

Christmas star: 10 tips to make it live for a long time

The poinsettia is the symbolic plant of the Christmas holidays, which gives a touch of color to our tables and brightens up our festive days with relatives and friends. However, few know how to keep it blooming and healthy so as not to give up having it at home even after the holidays.

Origins and history of the Christmas star

There Christmas Star (whose botanical name is Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a plant native to Mexico which, if left to grow in nature, develops like a small sapling that can reach up to 3 meters in height. We know it because it is a real Christmas symbol: it is used to create Christmas decorations and is often given as a gift for Christmas.

Its name derives from tradition: in fact, starting from the late nineteenth century this plant was given as a gift by local authorities to US ambassadors who went to America as a welcome gift. It was then linked to Christmas for the characteristic red color of its leaves.

Yes why the famous "stars" that we often mistake for flowers, they are actually the leaves of the plant which take on the red color during the winter season. Its flower instead is called ciazo and it is a small yellow-green bud without petals, which appears in the middle of the leaves throughout the winter season.

There Christmas Star in nature it lives in hilly or mountainous places, characterized by a temperate climate and devoid of strong temperature changes. For this reason, the first thing to know if you want to take care of this plant in the right way is that it can't stand temperatures below 12-15 ° C and that it must therefore be held as indoor plant throughout the winter, in a closed and protected environment, but also not very heated and away from heat sources.

The legend of the poinsettia

Being such a particular and characteristic flower, the legends related to the Christmas star could not be missing. There are numerous stories regarding this plant, but the most famous is undoubtedly the Mexican legend of the poinsettia. In fact, it is precisely this legend that portrays the poinsettia as a special plant, capable of opening people's hearts and showing their love and kindness.

The legend of the poinsettia tells that in a small village in Mexico, on the Yucatan peninsula, there lived a very poor girl named Altea. While all the children were buying gifts to offer to Jesus for Christmas, the little girl could not afford to buy anything. That day, when all the villagers went to the church to offer their gifts, Altea decided to stay home alone.

While the little girl was at home disconsolate, an Angel appeared to her and advised her to pick some flowers from the roadsides and take them to church as gifts for Jesus. The Angel told her that her gift would be the most appreciated of all. since it was not just any object, it was flowers collected with love.

The little girl decided to follow the Angel's instructions: she picked the flowers and took them to the church near the altar, then she placed herself near the flowers and began to pray. In a few minutes the collected flowers were transformed into a plant with wonderful red flowers: this is how the poinsettias as we know them today were born.

From that night in Mexico, the poinsettia plant took the name of "Flores de la Noce Buena”, Or flower of the Holy Night.

Poinsettia cure: 10 tips

If we think one Christmas Star is a plant that lives little and that, once faded, will no longer be able to give us much satisfaction, we are wrong. The Christmas stars in fact, if well cared for, they can become something more than just Christmas flowers! In fact, they turn out to be beautiful plants to keep both indoors and on the balcony depending on the season. They can give us beautiful red and green leaves every year.

How to cure a poinsettia? Here it is 10 useful tips and tricks to cure the poinsettia, divided by season. Once read, we advise you to copy them on a sheet of Word and print them, so that you can donate them to friends and relatives along with your plan.


1) During the winter the Christmas Star it should be kept at home, in one bright, airy and not excessively heated room, away from sudden changes in heat and drafts. The ideal temperature is around 20 ° C during the day and 15 ° C at night. Once the right angle has been found, it should not be constantly moved, because it could suffer from a sudden change in environment, brightness and temperature.

2) Self the air in our house is very dry and dry, in addition to being harmful to our nostrils, it is also harmful to any type of plant, including the Christmas Star. We therefore recommend that you bring a humidifier cold air, and to place your plant nearby.

3) Light yes, but only for a few hours a day. An important thing that you need to pay close attention to is the amount of light is especially in the dark to which the plant must be exposed. If it is true that plants need light to grow and stay healthy, the Christmas Star however, it has the particular need to also need many hours of darkness during the winter season. In fact, if we don't give the plant at least 12 hours of darkness a day, we can say goodbye to colored leaves and flowers. Our advice, therefore, is to move the plant to a dark place (closet, wardrobe or bedroom) from about 17.00 in the afternoon until the following morning.


4) At the end of winter and with the arrival of spring, the Poinsettia loses its colorful leaves and for this reason we often risk thinking that the plant is dying. In reality this is not the case, spring and summer are the seasons of vegetative rest for this plant and for this reason our task is to take care of our plant until the arrival of the following winter. How to keep the poinsettia in spring and summer? Once you have waited for the plant to lose all its colored leaves, it is necessary cut the stems about 10 cm from the base and sprinkle the plant with ash or charcoal dust, to stop latex from leaking from the wounds to the stems.

5) Once the stems have been cut, the Poinsettia in a bright place with a mild temperature, for about a month, being careful to keep the soil slightly wet. During this season it can move the Christmas star outdoors, on terraces and balconies, waiting and not letting the plant take the sun directly, until the arrival of the hot days that herald summer.


6) TO June, with the arrival of summer, ours Christmas Star will begin to show some signs of growth: new stems are born from the plant and new leaves begin to sprout: it's time for repotting. To repot the poinsettia, you have to be very careful in choosing a container that is not too large (a vase of slightly larger than the previous one) and the right soil (the ideal one is based on peat, slightly acidic and soft).

7) Once ours is repotted Christmas Star, it is necessary wet abundantly with water several times, until the soil no longer absorbs water. How to water the poinsettia? It is very important to water the plant up to 1 cm deep, remembering to drain the excess water without leaving it in the saucer, so as not to risk rotting the roots of the plant.

8) Summer is also the time when ours Christmas Star it needs more nutrients to grow and give us beautiful colored leaves and flowers. For this reason, from the end of June to the end of September, a natural fertilizer liquid with high percentages of phosphorus and potassium and always keep our plant well watered. If necessary also, you can prune the plant, removing the most damaged and old stems and leaving only the main ones, in this way it will help not to waste energy and nutrients by eliminating the parts of the plant that could not be reborn and flourish anyway. To have a more luxuriant growth, one must remember in this phase of cut the tips of the stems, so as to stimulate the growth of the plant.

9) Anyone who wants can try to do reproduce the plant by cuttings, using the cut stems (about 10 cm long). In fact, in this season, you can try to put the stems in about half a glass of warm water to make them take root. There Christmas Star it is a very fertile plant that usually takes root very quickly and easily. If, after approx 10-15 days, at the end of the stem the roots will appear, then you can bury the stem, following the same rules that apply to the mother plant. But be careful not to bury the plant with the roots still too short and fragile: in this case leave it in warm water for a few more days, until the roots are long and resistant.


10) In October and November, we must suspend the fertilizations and reduce irrigations, always keeping our Christmas star at a mild temperature (between 18 ° C and 25 ° C) and in a position well illuminated by sunlight, already starting to move it every day in a dark place overnight, for about 12 hours. If we have taken good care of our plant, at the end of November the leaves will begin to color and in December we will have our colorful and flowering Christmas star again!

A last tip it's about who's in house dogs, cats or other pets: be careful because the Christmas star is among the poisonous plants for cats and dogs. This plant in fact contains a highly stinging latex which, if taken in large quantities, could cause serious health problems for our four-legged friends.

Flowers and Leaves

The most festive month of 2010 left us but, before leaving, he gave us one of the most beautiful and delicate vegetable guests: the Christmas Star (Euphorbia pulcherrima or Poinsettia). How should we cultivate this plant, now that the march towards summer has begun? And next year we can expect to review its splendid Christmas "flowers" in our homes? We went back to our expert, Giulia Clamer, a highly experienced nurseryman (remember the interview on cyclamen?), for two quick questions on the subject ...

Giulia, how is the poinsettia grown once the holidays are over?
Daniela, first of all we need to see if the star we bought is healthy. In fact, at the time of purchase it could already be compromised: in this case it could also do not exceed the week, not even coming to the end of the holidays.

Is it therefore so delicate that it can die in a very short time?
Yes, the Star is a plant that has specific needs which, if not met, can cause it to deteriorate quickly. It is particularly sensitive to cold air currents - unfortunately, during transport it can easily suffer some blows - and to the excess water, which can compromise root health. The problem is that, if the roots are affected by rot, it is very difficult for the plant to recover.

How to tell if the plant has health problems?
Care must be taken because the Christmas Star does not immediately manifest the problems it has with the radical system. To know if he is really well, you have to check the roots. I suggest you quickly undermine the vase and check their appearance before purchasing: they must be numerous and white. If they are very thin and sparse, it is better to opt for another specimen.

How long does a healthy poinsettia stay in bloom? And once it has faded?
The poinsettias that I produce remain "Bloom" until May. Towards July with sharp shears you have to make one topping, cutting all the branches by about a third: a good trim will help them grow. Let's fertilize them with fertilizer for flowering plants and let them spend the summer outside, but in the shade.

Is it possible to make a Christmas star bloom again?
Of course yes, specifying one thing: what we call "flowers" in the Star actually are modified leaves (bracts): the real flowers are small and are located in the center of the colored leaves. To ensure that the plant produces them again next year, you just need to pay some attention. The poinsettia is one short-day plant ("Short day"), ie the induction to flowering is "triggered" by the decrease in hours of light compared to those of dark. With us this happens naturally starting in autumn, so everything would be perfect. However, when the outside temperature drops below 15 °, we bring the Star into the house where, when it gets dark, we turn on the light! It is precisely that light that prevents the Christmas star from "blossoming" correctly.

So the most important thing is that the plant gets more hours of darkness than light?
Exactly, Daniela. If this condition is met, the plant blooms in its natural period ie in winter. In Italy the cultivation of the Stars it is not "forced", as is done with other plants. It is very long: it starts in July and ends at Christmas. They break up in October the greenhouses in the dark from 17.00 until 7.00 the next morning. In Northern Europe, however, the Stars are forced - with the use of blackout curtains in greenhouses - to be sold throughout the year.

Without darkness, no flowers, then!
But be careful, Daniela. I joke that in October "The Star goes to the closet", but obviously this is not the case: the plants must always have a few hours of light available because otherwise the chlorophyll synthesis cannot take place and this kills them. So the star must have total darkness (the "infiltrations" of light give life to deformed leaves) from 5 in the afternoon to 7 in the morning for about a month and a half, but in the other hours, lots of light!

Quite different from how we see it in our jars, what do you think?

How to keep the Christmas star at home

Flower of the Christmas stable

"data-medium-file =" "data-large-file =" https : // "loading =" lazy "src =" /wp-content/plugins/a3-lazy-load/assets/images/lazy_placeholder.gif "data-lazy-type =" image "data-src =" /2018/12/Fiore-della-Stalla-di-Christmas-e1544375370457.jpg"> Is it possible to prolong the life and beauty of the Poinsettia after the holidays? Will the plant arrive until next year? The answer is yes. It is possible, but no aspect should be neglected and you must be constant and careful in its care. The green thumb, in this case more than ever, is a must!
First of all, let's get to know him.
What is better known as the Christmas Star is actually called Euphorbia Pulcherrima, which speaks volumes, considering that in Latin Pulcherrima stands for gorgeous. And it is indeed beautiful, this plant, which, in its country of origin, even reaches four meters in height and shows its splendor well beyond the three weeks we are used to.

The ideal temperature

Given its origin, one would think that the Poinsettia, also known as Poinsettia, does not like the cold. But paradoxically, it is precisely the winter season that, here with us, sees it as the protagonist. This data implies a certain attention to the temperature in which it is stored. If it is true that it should not be kept outside during the winter months, it is also true that the easiest way to see it fade is to bring it close to a source of heat. Never leave a Poinsettia next to a radiator and least of all by the fireplace. Although it is nice to see it triumph next to the flame of a fireplace, it is good to know that the plant will suffer a lot.

To summarize, the poinsettia should be kept in a warm, not dry environment, with a temperature between 15 and 20 degrees. “Moisture” is the key word: Coming from the undergrowth of Mexican forests, this plant requires moisture to thrive.

Exposure to light

A second important factor in making the poinsettia last as long as possible is exposure to light. The plant must be exposed to sunlight but never directly. An excellent middle ground can be considered to be placed in front of the window but behind the curtain. In this way our ornamental plant will receive brightness but will not be affected by the sun's rays. Poinsettia is, in fact, a typical plant of the undergrowth, an area where the light arrives but is clearly filtered.

How to water the poinsettia

The soil of the Poinsettia must never be full of water, but only moist. The plant should be watered every 2-3 days avoiding stagnation, which is very harmful to the roots. After watering, it is recommended to wait for the water to penetrate the soil. When it is then deposited in the saucer, the latter must be emptied.

Soil and fertilization

We come now to the ideal terrain for the Christmas Star. In order for Poinsettia to remain vigorous and not impoverish quickly, its soil must be well fertilized. A suitable organic fertilizer you can find it here.

It is essential to keep in mind that this plant comes from afar. In our houses, extremely heated especially during the Christmas period, it is forced into very small pots at times. If you do not at least pay attention to the quality of the soil, it will be inevitable to see it wither little by little. The frequency of fertilization is very high: once a week is the recommended dose.
Peat, on the other hand, is the only land suitable for the poinsettia (a lot you can find it here).

In fact, it is necessary that the roots can grow quietly in a soft and draining habitat. The land, moreover, must have slightly acidic pH, the measurement it must be between 5.8 and 6.3. Finally, for better drainage, it is recommended to sprinkle the bottom of the pot with expanded clay (like this), in order to favor the correct management of excess water, encouraging an environment that is always humid at the right point. Excess water can instead lead to diseases such as botrytis, or the advent of parasites such as white flies.

How to decant the poinsettia

"data-medium-file =" "data-large-file =" https : // "loading =" lazy "src =" /wp-content/plugins/a3-lazy-load/assets/images/lazy_placeholder.gif "data-lazy-type =" image "data-src =" /2018/12/stella-di-natale-in-vaso-e1544375529502.jpg"> If the poinsettia has been properly cared for, it will come to spring in excellent health. the plant will also be able to enjoy the external exposure terrace, balcony or garden, as long as in the shade and never under the sun's rays. When winter gives way to spring, therefore already from the first days of April, the poinsettia will be ready to be transplanted to a more suitable place. Given our climate, which is more rigid than the Mexican one, unfortunately it can only be moved to another pot and not into the ground. In a larger container (a like this), the poinsettia will continue growing and flowering. And when the cold returns, it can be moved inside again.
How do you realize that the Christmas star can be decanted? You will notice this from an evident detail: in early spring the Poinsettia becomes a stem without leaves: this is the moment when the plant is ready to be decanted.

How to prune the poinsettia

When is the poinsettia pruned? The poinsettia can be pruned in spring, when all the old leaves have fallen, that is, immediately before or immediately after the eventual racking. The branches must be cut with scissors suitable for pruning. You need blades that give a clean and decisive cut in the middle of each branch and above the leaf grafts. Before the pruning it is desirable to sprinkle with sulfur powder the ends to be severed.

Poinsettia with new leaves in May: is this normal?

Antonino of Palermo asks:

But how cute these new leaves.

Leave the plant to its greenery. If it emits new leaves, it means that it is fine.
If you then racked it, I wouldn't make it undergo new changes.

Good day

It was the American ambassador Joel Poinsett - hence the name - who introduced this plant for the first time in the United States, impressed by the infinite expanses he saw in Mexico, where the poinsettia was used to dye fabrics and also as an insecticide. .

From there it began its cultivation: first to obtain cut flowers, much loved by the ladies of the time, later as a pot plant, in the nineteenth century.

And perhaps not all of you knew it, but there is a day of the year dedicated to the poinsettia and its "discoverer", also to celebrate its value as a bridge between different cultures. Because the Christmas star has become part of the tradition of many countries, from Egypt to China, from Korea to South Africa, from India to Australia. Used in the Chinese New Year and the Jewish festival of lights, many are the nicknames of Poinsettia - from "star of Christ" to "flower of Atatürk" -, known in its country of origin as "flor de Noche Buena", flower of the night of Christmas. And there are many countries in which it is gradually gaining ground.

Video: why plant leaves turn brown and dry on the ends