Why Poinsettia Plants Lose Leaves

Help!! My new poinsettia is losing all its green leaves! What should I do??? Sandra

Hi Sandra,


Poinsettia plants usually lose green leaves when they are over-watered. A Poinsettia is a type of Euphorbia and prefers dry soil. Do not water until the green leaves start to droop a little and the plant is light when you lift it. Once you water, even a very droopy plant will quickly perk up. Also, be sure there are drip holes in the bottom of the pot so excess water can drain out and never allow a poinsettia to sit in water.

You can read all my care tips for a poinsettia in the Popular Houseplant section of the website. Learn how much light, water, fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.   a poinsettia needs. Read about after bloom care and how warm or cold the room where you keep the plant should be at: