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Why Is My Poinsettia Dropping Leaves? 6 Reasons For Your Plant Doing So

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A lot of gardeners struggle with poinsettias. A common complaint is that the plant’s lower leaves start turning yellow and dropping. Unfortunately, this sometimes happens very soon after purchase as well which makes the gardeners worry if something is wrong with their plant.

Poinsettias can hold off for a month or two if they are given adequate care before showing symptoms of stress. If you often ask yourself the question, “Why is my poinsettia dropping leaves?” This article contains all the answers for you.

Now without further ado, let’s get right to it!

Why Is My Poinsettia Dropping Leaves
[help a sad poinsettia] just keeps losing leaves – via Reddit

Why Is My Poinsettia Dropping Leaves?

Dropping of leaves is a symptom of stress for the plant. It shows that the plant is not happy and is displeased. Usually, the older leaves at the bottom are dropped first so that the plant can provide adequate nutrition to the newer leaves. These start yellowing and falling off.

Some reasons for leaf dropping are discussed below.

1. The Plant Has Been Wrapped For Too Long

If the plant is wrapped up for too long, the leaves of the plant might start dropping. For example, poinsettias emit a toxic gas which is called ethylene.

If you keep your plant inside a closed environment every day, the concentration of this gas will increase, which will make the leaves of the plant fall off.

The solution to this is to simply remove the wrapping around poinsettias as soon as you get back home. If you want to give the plant as a gift, do so at the earliest without keeping the plant wrapped in plastic for too long.

2. The Air Around The Plant is Too Dry

Poinsettias tolerate the dry air around them pretty well if you compare it to other indoor plants. However, this tolerance has a limit. If the air is considerably dry, like almost less than 30% humidity all the time, it is going to stress the plant, and the leaves will start dropping.

Before dropping, the leaves show some more signs of stress, such as browning at the edges of the leaves before they fall off. If the soil around the plant dries out too quickly and the water is not sustained in the soil, it will be bad for the plant’s health.

You can use a humidifier or spray the plant with water every day to ensure that it is getting the moisture it needs from its surroundings and that the plant isn’t under stress.

Why Is My Poinsettia Dropping Leaves 2
Poinsettia Dropping Leaves – via Reddit

3. Watering Issues

Suppose you keep asking yourself the question of why is my poinsettia dropping leaves. In that case, the likely answer is a lack or excess of water.

If your poinsettia is shedding leaves, it might be because of watering stress. The soil around the plant shouldn’t be dry for too long. If you notice that the soil is dry for extended periods of time, it is terrible for the health of the plant.

Similarly, if the soil is kept waterlogged consistently and it is drowned in water, that is also bad for the plant’s health. The lower leaves will start showing signs of stress when this happens and will begin to fall off after yellowing and browning.

Keep in mind that the stress caused to the plant due to a lack of water is not necessarily your fault. The stress might have been caused when the plant was at the store. Supermarkets are known for not taking enough care of the plants they sell.

The solution to this can be getting a soil meter that can monitor the moisture level of the soil with great accuracy. Then, whenever the soil appears dry, water it enough that it stays moist for around a week.

You can’t force a poinsettia to adapt to a specific watering schedule. However, if you follow a particular watering schedule, chances are that you will likely end up overwatering or underwatering your plant eventually.

Check the soil every 3 or 4 days and see if it has moisture left in it. If the soil is dry, try watering it so that the moisture level of the soil can be maintained.

4. Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Carbon monoxide is harmful to the plant. The gas is an odorless and tasteless gas, but it is toxic in nature, even for humans. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to brain damage.

If the plant starts losing its leaves as soon as you bring it to your house, there is likely carbon monoxide in the room you have put the plant in.

You can check the carbon monoxide level by a carbon monoxide alarm. If it starts going off, you should call 911 for help.

5. The Plant is Exposed To Cold

In colder areas, it will be harder to grow poinsettias. For example, during Christmas, it is the coldest time of the year. Also, when you buy a poinsettia, bringing it back from the store can cause it stress. Even a few minutes of being exposed to the cold will cause the leaves of the plant to fall off.

When you’re buying the plant from the store, make sure that it is covered in some wrapping, but take it off as soon as you come home.

6. Lack of Sunlight

A lack of sunlight for a long time can lead the poinsettia to start reacting negatively. For example, suppose your poinsettia gets a low amount of sunlight for around 7 or 8 weeks. In that case, it will start losing its leaves, and yellowing will also begin to occur.

If you want your poinsettia to stay in good condition for a long time, you need to maintain good light exposure for the plant.


If you keep on asking yourself the question, “Why is my poinsettia dropping leaves?” This article probably has the solution to your problem.

I hope this article was of help in maintaining the health of your poinsettia.

Happy gardening!