Why Your Poinsettia Leaves Are Curling - Backyard Boss
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Why Your Poinsettia Leaves Are Curling

If you’re a proud owner of a poinsettia, there’s nothing more disheartening than seeing its vibrant and colorful foliage fade away or curl inwards. What once was an eye-catching centerpiece for your home or office can quickly become an unwanted plant if you don’t give it the care it needs.

Fortunately, figuring out what is causing your poinsettia leaves to curl isn’t all that difficult. And with just a few minor adjustments, you can get your potted beauty back on track and be the envy of all who enter its presence. Discover the reasons behind this issue below and learn how to care for your poinsettia!

Why Your Poinsettia Leaves Are Curling

Poinsettia Floral Arrangement
Image credit: Stars for Europe via Wikimedia Commons

If you have noticed that your poinsettia leaves are curling and becoming brown, it is probably because the temperatures are too cold. Poinsettias need warm environments to thrive, so if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they will suffer. It can lead to their leaves curling and turning brown, which is a sign of distress.

To help your poinsettia survive, do not subject it to cold drafts or sudden temperature changes, and keep it away from doors and windows that open onto cooler outdoor spaces. The ideal temperature for your poinsettia is 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops lower than 50, move the plant to a warmer spot as continued exposure to cold temperatures could cause more damage. Maintaining your poinsettia in a warm and safe space away from cold drafts is key to keeping its leaves healthy and green (and red)!

Additionally, water is essential for poinsettia health, but too much or too little of it can cause major issues. Too wet conditions will result in yellowing and loss of lower leaves. This is a sure sign that something’s not quite right. On the other hand, if your plant begins to curl its leaves at their tips and starts dropping them altogether, time to give it some hydration pronto!

With proper care, your poinsettia should be able to make a full recovery and bring some festive cheer into your home!

How to Care for Your Poinsettia


Image credits: Orehova via Shutterstock

First, keep the soil moist. This doesn’t mean you need to water it every single day. Simply check if the surface of the soil feels dry to a light touch or if the pot feels lightweight when lifted. When it does, it’s time to give your plant some H2O!

When you water, remove your poinsettia from its outer pot or decorative foil before doing so, and make sure that it’s in a pot that drains freely. The best way to do this is by setting the plant in a sink and watering it thoroughly, allowing the plant to drain completely afterward. Never let your poinsettia sit in excess water, as this can cause root rot.


Beautiful poinsettia in pot on window sill at home, space for text. Traditional Christmas flower
Image credits: New Africa via Shutterstock

Position your poinsettia in a south, east, or west window where it will receive bright indirect light. If you keep it outdoors, ensure it receives four to six hours of part sun. Avoid placing poinsettias near cold drafts, space heaters, fireplaces, etc., as fluctuations in temperature can cause damage.


Poinsettia and Christmas Tree
Image credit: Ron Dauphin via Pixabay

As mentioned, keep your poinsettia at indoor temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth and look. Also, never subject your plant to freezing temperatures since this might kill the plant!


Image credits: pundapanda via Shutterstock

You don’t need to fertilize during the holidays as your poinsettia won’t be growing much or needing additional nutrients. However, when you see new growth, such as green leaves, stems, and bracts, it’s time to feed your plant. 

Use an all-purpose household plant fertilizer mixed with water at about half the recommended strength. Feed your poinsettia every three to four weeks for optimal health and nourishment.

Repotting or Transplanting

Transplanting a Poinsettia Christmas flower into a new red ceramic pot, a woman in a Santa t-shirt transplanting a flower at home
Image credits: pundapanda via Shutterstock

In late spring or early summer, transplant your poinsettia into a bigger pot. Choose something 2 to 4 inches bigger than the original container and with good drainage. You can add peat moss or organic material for soil improvement.

If you’re putting it in a garden bed, choose one that gets four to five hours of sun per day and mix in organic matter such as compost. Water your newly transplanted poinsettia well.

You’re Missing The Point-settia!

When you spot curling leaves on your poinsettia, it’s no cause for alarm. Just follow the tips mentioned in this article, and your plant should remain healthy throughout the season. With the right care, you’ll be able to enjoy your decorative plant for many years to come.

Leave a comment below and let everyone know how these tips worked for you. And share with your family and friends!