How Long Do Poinsettias Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-6 Weeks

One of the best parts about the holidays is decorating one’s home for Christmas. Many people focus on their trees, but poinsettias are an equally beautiful option that will last well into January.

Poinsettias are beautiful houseplants that one can find in homes around the country during the winter. Poinsettias are so popular because they have a long life with proper care. One can even replant them after their leaves start to wilt.

It can last up to 4 to 6 weeks before the flowers start to fall off. It can last long if kept away from the direct heat.

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How Long Do Poinsettias Last?

TypeDuration
Poinsettias plant4-6 weeks
Christmas Cactus20 to 30 years

Poinsettias last for 4-6 weeks with proper care. The poinsettia plant needs 6-8 hours of darkness every 24 hours. The time that these hours range differs depending on the temperature. 

Keep in mind that they are sensitive to light and should be placed away from direct sunlight, fluorescent lights, or any other form of lighting. Their color will also last longer if they are kept out of water for at least 12 hours between watering.

Here are some things to know before bringing one home so people can get the most out of their poinsettia experience.

  1. Poinsettias have a long shelf life – a lot of people think they need to buy their poinsettias right after Thanksgiving, but it’s better if one waits until closer to Christmas Eve. 
  2. This will give them more time to grow larger and ensure that they’ll be healthy when it comes time for them to be in one’s house.
  3. They don’t need much light and should be kept away from direct sunlight.
  4. If not cared for correctly, it could last anywhere from 2-4 days to less than 1 day (due to fungus, among other things).
  5. The lifespan will vary depending on the time of year, care taken in storing it.
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 It may last longer or shorter depending primarily on the temperature conditions that are used for storage. The ideal storage temperature is 20 degrees celsius with access to humidity and away from direct sunlight. 

Why Would Poinsettias Last So Long?

Poinsettias are beautiful, living plants that emit red light in the dark. If one is lucky, they can even find a yellow or white flower there.

A Poinsettia should not be stored like other cut flowers because they need humid conditions to prevent cellular drying or wilting, which prematurely causes flower drop or browning leaves. The plant should also not be placed in water; this prevents the plant from lasting longer.

There’s no secret ingredient here. Poinsettias will grow well indoors with enough sunlight and fresh air – but all sorts of houseplants can do the trick. 

Just like other plants, poinsettias need water and fertilizer every so often to stay healthy and full of color. It all comes down to a few simple steps: water the plant when soil is dry; use room temperature water to keep it healthy, among others.

The reason why it lasts for 6 weeks is that they store energy in their anthocyanin pigments. Anthocyanins’ physical properties make the plant attractive to herbivores because it makes them look healthy and colorful when they are dying.

In the case of poinsettias, this means that they can sustain insects from eating them from below for a few weeks due to their coloration alone.

It’s a good idea to purchase from independent stores and stalls rather than other places because lower temperatures on display will shorten the plant’s shelf life. 

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Before purchasing, check the plant thoroughly; poinsettia is a delicate plant that won’t survive long if kept in cold conditions. 

Conclusion

One should also make sure not to overwater it by leaving a puddle of water in the bottom of the pot it’s in. Water only when the compost begins to change color and become lighter.

To make it last longer, remove the dead leaves, and if the roots have started to rot, cut them far enough as well. Make sure to place the plant toward the south-facing window to benefit from the light.

Overall, the plant can last up to 4 to 6 weeks before the leaves and flowers start to fall off. This is why it is essential to ensure it does not get a direct hit from the sunlight.

References

  1. https://journals.ashs.org/hortsci/view/journals/hortsci/29/8/article-p858.xml 
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304423812004256