How to plant poinsettias outdoors

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Poinsettias produce dark green leaves and bright red leaves, and they are commonly used as Christmas decorations. However, after the holidays are over, keep the poinsettias around so that they can liven up your outdoor garden throughout the growing season. Poinsettias require a tropical climate to thrive outdoors.

Keep the plant dry throughout the winter months, watering sparingly. Do not fertilise the plant at this time.

When the weather warms up to a steady 12.8 to 15.6 degrees Celsius, cut off any faded leaves, leaving behind spiky stems.

Place the potted poinsettia outdoors so that it can get used to the outdoor weather. Leave it outdoors in a pot for two to three weeks, as this allows it to acclimatise to both the light and the temperature.

Select a site where the poinsettia will receive full sun for most of the day but no light at all during the night. Avoid areas that are illuminated by street lights.

Dig a hole in the garden bed for the poinsettia that allows it to sit at the same level in the ground as it did in the pot.

Place the poinsettia into the ground and firm the soil around its base.

Apply a 2-inch-thick layer of mulch around the base of the poinsettia to help it retain water.

Water thoroughly.

Fertilise monthly with an 18-16-12 fertiliser, which contains 18 per cent nitrogen, 16 per cent phosphorus and 12 per cent potassium. Use 0.907kg. per 100 square feet.