How to Water Poinsettias Properly

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Stephanie

Poinsettias require the top inches of the soil to dry between watering sessions. Make sure to give them a good soak so that the water is released from the drainage holes in the pots. Usually, giving the poinsettias a an ample soak every week is sufficient to meet the plants moisture needs, but does not cause root decay.

It is essential to be aware of the frequency and amount to water your poinsettias since poinsettias are sensitive to excessive watering as well as under watering.

Continue reading to find out how to determine the ideal frequency of watering for your climate and the specific conditions of the home…

How Often to Water Poinsettias

Poinsettia is a shrub indigenous to Mexico as well as central America where they thrive in tropical areas with a little humidity as well as warm temperatures and occasionally rain.

Poinsettia are well-adapted to the climate of their natural habitat, which can be easily transferred to grow in the house, however they are prone to excessive and inadequate watering. They prefer that the soil dry out slightly between watering, rather than constant moist soil or constant.

To plant poinsettias inside the house, it is essential to recreate the conditions for watering and the cycle of soil moisture that they had in their natural environment.

Poinsettias need a good soak, followed by the top inch of soil to dry out a bit between watering. Typically, this means watering the poinsettias every week in order to keep them healthy and prevent root decay.

It is crucial to understand that there are a variety of factors that determine the frequency of watering poinsettias, since the speed of drying out will vary with different climates and conditions like…

  • The humidity that is inherent to the climate (humidity decreases the loss of water from the leaves , and also slows the evaporation of soil, which could mean that you dont water the poinsettia as often).
  • The size of the container (smaller pots dry much faster).
  • The poinsettia can be in the air current con or forced air , or any other draughts (air currents can eat away water from the foliage and boost the demand of water).
  • The ability of soil to hold water.

To determine how often you should water your poinsettias in your garden, feel the soil and check if there is any signs of moisture.

If the soil is damp you can put off watering for a day or two, but when the soil is feeling dry, even to the depth of 1 inch, this is the ideal moment to soak the soil.

This watering cycle is the ideal amount of moisture needed to ensure a healthy plant as well as to prevent the negative effects of over and under watering.

It also mimics the cycle of watering in its natural environment.

It is important to note that using spray bottles to spray the leaves of your plant every week or so can help mimic the humid climate of the native poinsettias range.

poinsettia with water droplets

Poinsettias need to be watered regularly throughout the year , but remember that the demand for water may change if, for instance, in winter, the heating is turned on more often because it can cause drying out of the pot very quickly.

Change the frequency of your watering all through the year, if needed but make sure to allow the top inch of the soil dry out between waterings to prevent root rot and ensure the health of your plant.

How do you know if you are either over or under watering your poinsettia…

If your poinsettia is either over water or not getting enough water, the leaves will turn yellow and begin to shrink and it is very difficult to discern the distinction between an over-watered or a plant that is under watered just through the appearance.

But poinsettias that are suffering from drought stress are likely to be a bit more damaged or damaged or curled leaves that may fall off due to drought, compared to plants that are suffering from excessive irrigation.

The most effective way to determine the reason for leaves changing color is to touch the soil. If the soil is dry out completely, then give your poinsettia a well-soaked soak.

It is recommended to place the pot in a water basin for about 10 minutes in order for the water to fully penetrate the soil, so that the roots will be able to absorb the required water.

If your poinsettia seems to be excessively watered as the soil appears too wet, then reduce the amount of water until the top inch is dry.

Poinsettias that are over watered are harder to revive than under watered ones due to the increased chance of root rot, which can cause a poinsettias death again.

(Read my article on on how you can revive an old poinsettia plant).

The Water Poinsettias in pots that have drainage Holes at their base

Poinsettias are not tolerant of their roots to be in soil that is damp, so it is essential that the pot you choose to use has drainage holes at the base that allow for the excess water to drain away.

The water that is dripping from the bottom in the container is the most effective method to make sure youve watered your poinsettias with enough water.

If your poinsettia is placed in an un-draining pot with no drainage holes at the base, then water collects around the roots, and the poinsettia is prone to root decay.

A lot of water could be able to keep the soil moist if…

  • Trays and saucers are located under pots. Many people use saucers or tray to stop the water from spilling into their homes after a session of watering. It is crucial to remove the pot from time to time or the water that is left in the pot prevents the soil from drying sufficiently to allow the poinsettia to bloom and the plant will die back.
  • Roots and soil that has been compacted in drainage holes. If you see water disappearing slowly from your poinsettia, make sure your drainage holes remain clean to allow water to escape effectively to stop root decay.
  • Pots with decorative outer lids. Poinsettias are typically sold in plastic pots that have drainage holes, but are sold in attractive outer pots that are offered that are available during the Christmas season. The outside pot could stop water from draining effectively and the soil remains saturated , which can cause root rot. Therefore, you should either empty the pot regularly of water or make use of a tray or saucer and plant the poinsettia in a pot that has drainage holes.

How Much to Water Poinsettias

Knowing the right amount of water to apply when watering poinsettias is crucial to their proper care.

The varying climate and the conditions at your home will affect the frequency of watering poinsettias, however it is recommended that the quantity of water will remain the same no matter what conditions are in place.

Water poinsettias that have a good soak to ensure that the excess water drips out of the bottom in the bottom of the dish.

This will ensure that water penetrated the soil enough that the poinsettias roots can absorb the water they need.

A good soak also helps the roots develop and grow in the soil to create an energised, stronger poinsettia.

If you water too lightly, it will result in only the top inch or so of soil being moistened and the water doesnt get to the root of the plant, where it is required, which could cause drought stress.

A good soak in the water and before allowing the soil to dry creates the pattern of rain, then a time of dry weather in its natural environment to which the poinsettia has been adapted.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make sure to ensure that the soils top inch to dry out before you water your poinsettias in order to ensure that they are watered properly and prevent root rot. Give the poinsettias a good soak to ensure that the water drips out from the bottom in the planter.
  • Typically , watering every week is sufficient. You can adjust the frequency of your watering according to your needs.
  • Poinsettias must be planted in pots that have drainage holes at the base so that excess water can be able to escape and prevent root decay.
  • The signs of an over-water and poinsettia that is under water are foliage turning yellow as well as falling. Poinsettias that are under water also shed leaves.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)