How Often You Should Water Poinsettias

'Tis the season.

The holidays’ most famous flowers yield one very important question: How often should you water your poinsettias?

Answer: You should water your poinsettias whenever the soil feels dry to the touch, about once per week.

Because yes, even Christmas cheer comes down to a science.

The goal is to keep the soil damp but not sopping wet, according to Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture. Experts recommend feeling the soil every day, watering it whenever the top inch stops feeling damp and cool like a towel. You can also lift up your poinsettia pot every day and water whenever it starts to feel lightweight. This usually happens about once a week, experts say.

When you first get your poinsettia, remove any foil coverings and poke a few holes in the bottom if there aren’t any, so that water can drain away. Keep your plant near a sunny window ― anywhere from 60 to 70 degrees is ideal room temperature for poinsettias to thrive. If well cared for, they can stay in bloom up to six months.

Now THAT’S how you keep Christmas going all year long.

Clarification: A previous version of this story indicated that a well cared for poinsettia can last up to six months. That’s how long it can stay in bloom, though the plant can live longer.

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