Thursday, June 21, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely tendings: Poinsettias and Christmas cactus

A poinsettia transplant: Christmas poinsettias can be removed from their container and planted outdoors now. Choose a sunny location that is not exposed to ambient light at night and dig the planting hole 12 inches wider than the root ball. Place the plant in the hole at the same depth as in the container and fill around the ball with soil. Water every other day the first week then once or twice a week thereafter or as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Poinsettias have a tendency to get root rot when too wet or when growing in poorly drained soils.

After the flowering period, Christmas cactus will produce new growth. Next year's flowers are formed on this new growth. To produce healthy flower-bearing tissue, add a balanced slow-release fertilizer every other month and begin regular watering when the soil is completely dry.

Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit For regular tips and information about what's growing in Pinellas, go to