Can You Plant Poinsettias Outside in Florida?

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The poinsettia is an indigenous Mexican flower that comes in many sizes and shapes.

It is recognized as the most popular Christmas plant and essentially the number one selling potted plant in the US.

The flower is commercially grown in all the states, with the top producers being California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio.

These states are known to have pleasant weather suited for flora to thrive.

Still, some enthusiasts may wonder and ask, “Can you plant poinsettias outside in Florida?”

Let’s explore the details about planting this flower outdoors and other related topics.

About the Poinsettia Plant

Before addressing the question, “Can you plant poinsettias outside in Florida?”, it’s essential to know its background and characteristics.

History

A German botanist gave poinsettias their scientific name.

When he spotted its dazzling color emanating through a crevice in his greenhouse, he named it Euphorbia pulcherrima, which means “very beautiful.”

Its English name is inspired by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first Ambassador of the US to Mexico.

He was responsible for introducing the flower to the nation back in 1828.

Qualities

The flower head is composed of crimson bracts with little yellow blooms in the middle.

Its bracts have a similar lobed leaf form as the dark green foliage but are colored differently.

Contrary to other flowering plants, the bracts, not the blooms, make this a lovely, decorative shrub.

Although red bracts are the most common shade for poinsettias, there are also white, pink, creamy white, and other variations.

After the poinsettia blooms completely and the leaves have fallen, that is the end of the life of this popular flora.

If you have the patience to re-flower it, you may continue nourishing it until next Christmas.

Cultural Significance

When imagining flowers during the holiday seasons, most would likely think of poinsettias before other species.

Despite the flower having Mexican origin, it became significantly popular after its introduction in the US during the 1800s up to this day.

Poinsettias have become an essential element of Christmas decorations all around the world.

There are a few reasons the flower has become a staple aspect of this holiday.

One explanation is that many have interpreted the plant as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem.

The legendary celestial body led the three wise men to the location where Christ was born.

The flower’s shape is associated with the star symbol, while its color signifies the blood of Jesus.

Another is the old Mexican folklore about a girl who can only bring weeds from the roadside as an offering on Christmas Eve.

However, the weeds turn into beautiful red flowering plants, which are poinsettias, after she finishes worshipping at the church.

Everyone who witnessed the transformation was stunned and considered the incident a miracle.

The flower is called “Flores de Noche Buena,” which translates to “Flowers of the Holy Night.”

Growing Poinsettias Outside in Florida

The Sunshine State is one of the preferred areas for growing this popular flowering plant because of its climate.

Chilly air and harsh winds aren’t common in Florida, the ideal environment for cultivating poinsettias.

However, direct hot sunlight can cause them to dry quickly, so it’s essential to keep them in well-lit areas only.

Other than that, there are a couple of factors to consider in growing the plants outside.

learn if can you plant poinsettias outside in florida

Landscape

When choosing the area where the poinsettias should be planted, ensure that you have sufficient space.

The ideal space required for the plant to thrive is around 10 to 15 feet in every direction.

You need the soil to dry but always ready for irrigation if the weather is too hot.

In ideal environments, the plants develop on their own with little maintenance.

Still, keep the poinsettias moist and warm after the holidays.

You may plant them in the ground directly or use a spacious container during mid-March.

Location

As mentioned earlier, place the plants in a well-lit area away from drafts.

Cultivate them in a bright, well-drained spot that is not easily accessible by frost and north winds. 

Many gardeners opt to use the south side of their house or wall, which is highly recommended.

Ensure there is no artificial light in the area at night since this can impede the poinsettias from growing correctly.

Temperature

Poinsettias may blossom in full sun, although they prefer some shade during the day’s hottest hours.

Generally, they require at least six hours of indirect sunshine every day.

They thrive at temperatures ranging from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit when the sun is up and between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit after dark.

You may leave the poinsettias outside throughout the warmer months but be ready to bring the plants indoors if the temperature drops below 40 degrees.

Moisture

To ensure that the moisture won’t evaporate prematurely, consider placing the plants from heat vents in your home.

Water your poinsettias once a week or whenever the container becomes light or the soil is too dry. 

However, you should always drain excess water because too much moisture could turn the red leaves to yellow or worse.

Other Considerations

  • If growing poinsettias on pots, check if there is more than one plant per pot.
  • You might want to place the potted plant on the porch to have a healthy supply of sunlight until it is ready for your landscape.
  • It is recommended to perform some cuttings to have a fuller appearance.
  • It is good to apply a slow-release fertilizer for direct landscape planting.
  • Split them into individual plants if you notice too many poinsettias sharing a tight spot.
  • Establish an irrigation system for dry weather but avoid using it frequently because this plant is not very fond of damped soil.
  • While the poinsettias are growing, pinch the new shoots carefully for them to produce more branches.

This approach keeps the plants shorter and helps them produce more blossoms.

Can You Plant Poinsettias Outside in Florida: In Conclusion

Florida is one of the best states for growing poinsettias outside, but you still need to consider some aspects.

By following the recommendations mentioned above, your plants have more chances to thrive and develop stunning bracts and flowers.

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