Why Do Leaves Fall off Poinsettias

Could you please tell me why the leaves always fall off my poinsettias and I’m left with bare stems with a few red flowers at the top?

Hi Tom.

Poinsettia Plants are members of the Euphorbia family and like to have their soil dry out a bit before they are watered.  Always allow at least the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering to prevent root rot. Over-watering a Poinsettia Plant causes green leaves to fall off, leaving the bare stems topped by a few colorful bracts that you seem to have. Wait until the plant leaves get a little soft and droopy before watering. Severe under-watering, in which a Poinsettia Plant badly droops, results in both green and colored leaves dropping off. Be careful not to get the leaves of a Poinsettia Plant wet when watering. Water drops cause unsightly white marks on Poinsettia leaves. Here’s a few more tips to help your poinsettias last longer and look better.

Poinsettias need very bright indirect light but no direct sun. The light from a north-facing window is not adequate. If you place your plant close to a window, be sure none of the leaves touch the glass since the cold damages poinsettias.

Poinsettias like temperature between 65-70 degrees during the day and about 60 degrees at night. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold damage the leaves and can also cause leaf drop. Keep Poinsettias away from drafty doors and windows, fireplaces, heaters, and the tops of appliances that give off heat.

Poinsettias, despite all rumors, are not poisonous, though the milky sap of the plant may cause minor skin irritations, especially for people who are allergic to latex.