Year 11 | 19 July 2019 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Are Poinsettia's Toxic?
For years poinsettias had the bad reputation of being poisonous. While they are not meant to be eaten by humans, pets or livestock, ingesting poinsettias would probably cause some stomach upset, as would eating most any houseplant. However poinsettias have undergone extensive testing and there is no evidence that they are toxic or unsafe to have in the house. They are also safe to put into the compost.
A more likely problem to watch out for is contact dermatitis. Euphorbias exude a milky sap when broken. (Think of milkweed.) Some people are sensitive to this sap, which can cause an itchy rash. Be especially careful not to rub your eyes after touching the plants.
Poinsettias can be very tricky but it is not impossible to hold on to your plant and enjoy it again next year. Here are some helpful tips on getting your plant to last.
Light- Place near a south, east, or west window. Poinsettias are tropical so they appreciate as much direct light as possible.
Heat- To keep it blooming as long as possible the temperature where you have it should be 65-75 during the day. 60 degrees at night is okay. However, cold drafts or allowing the leaves to touch a window can injure the leaves and cause premature leaf drop. Poinsettias that have sparse stems have probably been exposed to the wrong temperatures.
Water- Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom. Never let the plant sit in water!! Check the moisture daily to make sure the plant is not completely dry. If your plant gets to dry it will wilt and this will damage your plant. It may take another season to improve after becoming to dry.
Humidity- Because the desert is dry and winter can also be a dry climate if your plant is in direct light you will most likely have to water it frequently. Maybe even everyday. But remember not to water if already wet.
by S. C.
13 december 2010, Food & Fun > Nature