Rondom de kerst zijn er volop kerststerren (Euphorbia pulcherrima) te koop. Mits ze niet teveel water krijgen zijn het sterke en prachtige, kleurrijke planten. Het fijne is, ook tot lang na kerst brengen zij sfeer in de woonkamer.
De kerstster hoort bij de familie van de wolfsmelkachtigen en komt van nature voor in Midden-en Zuid-Amerika. Daar groeien ze uit tot flinke struiken van tot wel 5 meter hoog. Hij wordt soms ook Poinsettia genoemd, naar de botanicus Joel Robert Poinsette (1779-1851), die de plant voor het eerst vanuit Mexico mee naar de Verenigde Staten nam.
Een warme, lichte, maar niet zonnige plek is het meest geschikt. Als u daarbij zorgt dat de temperatuur niet onder de 15 en niet boven de 22 graden komt en de lucht niet te droog is, dan zal hij heel lang mooi blijven. Als u een kerstster tijdens koudere dagen koopt, is het verstandig hem goed te verpakken tijdens het vervoeren, omdat hij anders een klap krijgt van de kou buiten.
Als deze plant ergens een hekel aan heeft, dan is het koud gietwater. Het beste kunt u hem 1 keer per week dompelen in lauwwarm water. Tussendoor moet de kluit dan weer opdrogen, want teveel water zorgt ervoor dat het blad van de plant valt. Dat is zonde, want dat kijkt u tegen de tijd dat het kerst is tegen een half kale plant aan. Ook droge lucht kan bladval veroorzaken. Houd ‘m dus uit de buurt van de verwarming en sproei minstens 1 keer per week. Tijdens de bloei kan er elke week plantenvoeding met het gietwater gegeven worden.
De bloemen (schutbladeren) zitten stervorming gerangschikt op de stengels. De eigenlijke bloemen zijn klein en onopvallend en het zijn dus de spectaculaire schutbladeren die de plant zijn gekleurde look geven. Kerststerren zijn er met rode, (zalm)roze, paarse, gele en witte schutbladeren. Ze kunnen wel een half jaar mooi blijven, dus tot ver na kerst heeft u zo kleur in de woonkamer. Kerststerren zijn ‘kortedagplanten’, wat inhoudt dat zij een periode lang minder dan 10 á 12 uur licht gehad moeten hebben om tot bloei te komen. Bij kwekers wordt dit proces aan het einde van de zomer ingezet. Zo zijn er tijdens de decembermaand volop bloeiende exemplaren te koop. Ook in de woonkamer is het mogelijk de plant opnieuw in bloei te krijgen, maar dan moet u het jaar erop na de zomer de plant dus minstens 12 uur per dag van (dag)licht afschermen.
Over de giftigheid van de kerstster lopen de meningen tegenwoordig uiteen. Algemeen wordt aangenomen dat het witte melksap irriterend is bij aanraking met de mond of de ogen. Houd de kerstster in elk geval uit de buurt van huisdieren, want die krijgen er behoorlijke maag-darmklachten van.
Lees ook: Hond of kat in huis? Pas op met deze giftige kamerplanten
Meer planten voor kerstsfeer
Buiten de kerstster zorgen nog meer kamerplanten voor een fijne kerstsfeer in huis. We hebben ze in een ander artikel op een rij gezet. Ook buiten kan groen voor de nodige kerstsfeer zorgen. Bekijk daarvoor het artikel Planten en groen voor kerstsfeer in de tuin en op het balkon.
Water poinsettias sparingly, aiming to keep the compost moist – allow the top of the compost to slightly dry out before watering again – as overwatering will damage them. Always use tepid water – never cold water direct from the tap.Where do poinsettias grow naturally? ›
The Poinsettia plant is a native of Mexico and South America, with its history tracing back to the ancient Aztecs, who saw the plant as a symbol of purity. The plants grow in the wild in deciduous tropical forests. Originally, they were cultivated for a practical reason—to make red dyes and medicines.What is the Latin name for poinsettia? ›
Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbiaceae or Spurge family. Botanically, the plant is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima.Are poinsettias perennials? ›
Poinsettias are a perennial. That means that they can live long after the holiday season is over. In their native habitat of Mexico and Central America, they are large shrubs standing up to 10-15 feet tall, reblooming year after year.How do you keep poinsettias alive for next year? ›
After all the leaves have fallen, store the plant, in its pot, in a cool (50 to 60°F), dry, dark area. Keep the plant somewhat on the dry side; water only enough to keep the stems from withering.Does Euphorbia pulcherrima like sun or shade? ›
Poinsettias houseplants are relatively easy to keep alive during the short holiday season, but getting them to rebloom next year is a more challenging undertaking. After the colorful bracts fade and fall off the plant after the holidays, cut back the stems just below the flowers.How long will a poinsettia typically last indoors? ›
How Long Do Poinsettias Last? If cared for properly, a potted poinsettia can last for two to three months in your home. However, some home gardeners with a particularly green thumb may enjoy the challenge of caring for a poinsettia long after Christmas in hopes of a second bloom next holiday.Can you leave live poinsettias outside? ›
Yes, poinsettias can live outside in the summer as long as temperatures remain above 45°F. Just be sure to slowly acclimate them to the full sun so the leaves don't burn.What do Mexicans call poinsettias? ›
In Mexico, the poinsettia is known as Flor de Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve Flower. You may also see it written as La Flor de la Nochebuena, which means Flower of Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile they give off oxygen, improve air quality, are free of calories, don't need to fit a certain body type and you don't have to remember to spend them like gift cards. A gift plant can be enjoyed by everyone that walks into a room. 1.) Buy a poinsettia now – or as early as you see them for sale.Why do poinsettias turn red? ›
Poinsettias are photoperiodic. The longer periods of darkness in winter stimulate the formation of flowers. The red bracts don't contain much chlorophyll ( responsible for the green colour of leaves ) but contain pigments called anthocyanins, giving them their bright red colour.Can you plant a poinsettia in the ground? ›
Transplant your Poinsettia plants in the ground when night time temperatures don't drop below 55 degrees F. When you're ready to plant it in the ground, ind a site with full sun. Add lots of organic matter to the planting spot before putting your Poinsettias in the ground.Is a poinsettia dead if it loses all its leaves? ›
Contrary to how things look, your plant is not dying. It has finished blooming and is now moving into a resting phase, a period of dormancy that is part of its natural annual cycle. After about half of the poinsettia's leaves have fallen off, you should gradually start to reduce watering frequency.Can poinsettias stay outside all winter? ›
Answer: Both the Christmas cactus and the poinsettia are not hardy outdoors and will freeze if planted outside. They should remain in their pots and not be planted outdoors in the garden if you live where it freezes in the winter. Repotting is a good idea for the poinsettia especially.Do you throw away poinsettias after Christmas? ›
What should I do with my poinsettia after the holidays? Answer: If given good care in the home, poinsettias should remain attractive for 2 to 3 months. Toss the poinsettia when you grow tired of it or it becomes unattractive.Why is my poinsettia not turning red? ›
Emilly Barbosa Fernandes, a small space gardener from California and a consultant at HouseGrail, explains that if poinsettias won't turn red 'you are not letting them absorb the light. They need at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight daily.How often do you water a poinsettia? ›
Water the poinsettia when the pot becomes lightweight or when the soil becomes dry to the touch, about once a week. Water the plant thoroughly in a sink, letting it drain, before putting it back where it was.Can poinsettias get too much sun? ›
Avoid direct sunlight.
Because poinsettias are tropical plants, they do require some sunlight. But, placing the plant in direct sunlight can cause damage to the plant's leaves. Extreme low or high temperatures and drafts should also be avoided.
Poinsettias need a minimum of six hours of indirect sunlight each day. Protect the plants from freezing temperatures, especially when transporting them. Place them in a light-filled room away from drafts. They do best in rooms between 55 and 65 F at night and 65 to 70 F during the day.
Yes, you can. but rain, extreme heat or really cold weather may damage the quality of your blooms. They will still look good, just not as perfect as inside. Outdoor potted poinsettia watering will vary with the weather.Do I water a poinsettia from the top or bottom? ›
Water your poinsettia plant only when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch. Thoroughly moisten the soil to the point that water is draining from the bottom of the growing pot. Discard any excess water that builds up in the saucer or decorative foil pot cover.Will a dead poinsettia come back? ›
It is possible, but it just doesn't happen if the plant is indoors. Poinsettias require very specific light conditions to allow the plant to make flowers again. This requires some management to get it to bloom for the holidays. Poinsettias have been considered as a holiday plant in the United States since the 1820s.Why do poinsettias lose their leaves so quickly? ›
Poinsettias will classically drop their leaves if they are exposed to sudden changes in temperature, drafts or overly cool or dry rooms. They also will lose leaves and wilt in response to an extreme need for water.What to do with poinsettia after leaves fall off? ›
Once about half of the leaves and "flowers" have dropped, start to decrease watering until the soil is completely dry. This will cause the plant to go dormant. Then store it in a cool, dark location, watering only enough to prevent the stems from shriveling.Can you keep a poinsettia in the bathroom? ›
From mid-September to December, you'll need to make sure your poinsettia gets 13-16 hours of complete darkness per night. You can provide total darkness overnight by: Moving your poinsettia to a closet, windowless bathroom, or basement.
The second best option is to use the ice cube trick. If you can water the poinsettia well once per week, placing 6-8 ice cubes in the container every day will do a good job of keeping the soil adequately moist.Do poinsettias need big pots? ›
In late spring or early summer, transplant your poinsettia into a larger container (about 2 to 4 inches bigger than the original pot) or into a part-sun garden bed. In pots, use a soil mix with a good amount of organic matter such as peat moss. Make sure your new pot has good drainage.When should I put my poinsettia in the dark? ›
Poinsettias are short-day plants, meaning their bud set is affected by the length of daylight. To re-bloom, they need 10 weeks with 12 hours of light per day. To artificially create this, it is crucial that you are diligent. Beginning October 1st, keep your plant in complete darkness from 5 pm to 8 am.What to do with live poinsettias after Christmas? ›
Place your poinsettias where they will receive at least 6 hours of indirect, but bright, sunlight each day. In mid-April pinch back the stems to 6-8 inches and place the plants in a sunny location. When new growth begins, you may use a liquid fertilizer to ensure the plants get enough minerals, especially calcium.
The symbolism of the Poinsettia
The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.
While considered by the ancient Aztecs to be symbols of purity, in today's language of flowers, red, white or pink poinsettias, the December birth flower, symbolize good cheer and success and are said to bring wishes of mirth and celebration.What does a poinsettia symbolize? ›
We consider them a Christmas flower, and many people give them around Christmas time to symbolise good will and community spirit. In religious communities, the shape of the poinsettia flower is thought to symbolise the Star of Bethlehem, with the red leaves of the poinsettia symbolising the blood of Christ.Do poinsettias bring bugs? ›
As beautiful as poinsettias are, they attract some of the most destructive insects. At least as far as other plants are concerned. The two most common pests found in poinsettias are whiteflies and mites. Whiteflies look similar to aphids, as they're small and white, but they have wings.What problems do poinsettia have? ›
The primary disease problems are Botrytis leaf, stem and bract infections, Thielaviopsis root rot, and bacterial stem and soft rots.Why does my poinsettia stink? ›
If the roots are rotting from over-watering or poor air circulation, there will be a sweet, musty smell. This is a sign that the plant is already on the decline. – Never buy wilted plants, or ones in which the soil has dried out completely.Can you regrow a poinsettia from a stem? ›
It is possible to propagate poinsettias by stem cuttings. However, if a plant patent protects the plant, it is not legal. If your plant is not a patent-protected variety, then you can take cuttings to grow new plants. If you have a greenhouse it will be easier to induce the cuttings to form roots.How do you force a poinsettia to bloom? ›
1st, your poinsettia will require 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness for the next 8-10 weeks. Keep in a sunny place during the day and move to a dark closet or place a box on it during the long night. This will encourage the plant to begin reblooming.What is the life cycle of a poinsettia? ›
Poinsettias have four stages in which fertilization needs vary. These stages are: propagation, initial growth stage, rapid growth stage and the flowering stage.