Once your poinsettia is home and unpacked, the next big thing is to not over-water it. Over-watering is a very clear and present danger to poinsettias at this time. Being from the tropics where the soil base is very thin, they are actually a plant that is used to being kept on the drier side.
Wait to water until the soil is dry and the pot weight is light, which should happen about every 4-7 days.
When that happens, water it thoroughly with clear water (fertilizer is unnecessary at this time) so that it drains out from the bottom of the pot. You can do this in either of 2 ways:
- Water at the top of the pot, do not water the leaves
- Take the foil cover off of the pot and place the pot in a bowl of about 3” of water to take up moisture from the bottom.
Let it drain thoroughly and check it daily by lifting it up to see how heavy it is.
More poinsettias have died from over-watering than under-watering.
When poinsettias are over watered they look wilted and the temptation is to water them more but then the cycle of over-watering starts. So, whenever your poinsettia looks slightly wilted (we call that flagging), lift the pot to assess its weight and that will give you a clue as to whether it’s over or under in the watering category.