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No other plant says "Happy Holidays" like a poinsettia. Selecting a healthy one is the first step toward ensuring that you get the most from yours, all season long.
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Look closely at the colored bracts. The color should fill the entire bract. If you see a lot of green around the edges, the plant may not be fully mature. Likewise, check the berries. They should appear fresh, not dried out.
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The foliage on your poinsettia should be a healthy dark green, and be carried all the way down the stem to the soil line. Don't purchase a plant that shows any sign of wilting.
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If the poinsettia is wrapped in a decorative sleeve, remove the sleeve and inspect the plant. If a poinsettia is kept in a sleeve for too long, it can cause the plant to become misshapen
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Once you've chosen a healthy poinsettia, be sure you cover it loosely in a bag or plastic wrap before transporting it to your car. Poinsettias are very sensitive to cold. Even a minute or two of unprotected exposure to outdoor temperatures will have an adverse effect. Most garden centers can provide you with a travel sleeve for the plant.