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Poinsettias are tropical plants from Mexico and like to be in warm environments with a minimum temperature of 13˚C to 16˚C. If your climate has these warm winter temperatures, then you can put poinsettias outside all season long. However, if you plan on keeping your poinsettia going for longer than the holiday season, putting it outside in the spring is part of the program regardless of your climate.
Read on for details about how to successfully have poinsettias be outside.
Winter holiday season
To put potted poinsettias outside during the winter holiday season, here are the conditions that they must have:
- In bright light, but out of direct sunlight, for six hours a day
- Sheltered, away from draughts
- Have a minimum temperature of 13˚C to 16˚C, day and night
Some parts of the USA meet these conditions, but unfortunately, for the UK they can only be outside in summer if you grow them on after Christmas.
You may have to bring your poinsettia inside in the evening to avoid colder night-time temperatures. Don’t forget to do this as these plants get stressed at sudden changes in their environment. This tends to make them drop their leaves.
Throughout the year
You can keep your poinsettia after the holiday season so that it re-blooms the next year. However, this takes some work including putting it outside in the summer. My guide, How to get poinsettias to turn red again, tells you in detail how to go about this.
In summary, though, you move the plant outside in June after any threat of frost has passed. You can keep the poinsettia in its pot or transplant it into your garden (water thoroughly afterwards). In September, repot the plant into a larger pot as it has grown over the summer, and bring it back indoors.
What to watch for
Plants in pots outside are more susceptible to any pests and diseases that may come along. See Poinsettia pests and diseases for more details on those common to this plant.
Potted plants outside dry out quite fast. Check more often for the moistness of the top of the soil and water when it’s dried out.
Draughts are more common outside the home, so be especially careful to put your poinsettia in a sheltered location. You can learn more about growing poinsettias here.
Its also worth noting that Poinsettias are also safe for pets including cats and dogs.