When the holidays are over, many people do not think twice about tossing their poinsettia out the door along with the Christmas tree. There are others, though, who will nurture their poinsettia plant and try to get them to bloom again. If you’ve never tried it, give it a shot! You may surprise yourself with a fully rebloomed poinsettia at the end of next year. Keep reading for poinsettia care and reblooming tips from the floral experts at Expressions Unlimited.
How to Choose a Healthy Poinsettia
First, look for these signs when selecting your poinsettia: crisp, bright leaves (bracts), dark green foliage, a full and robust-looking plant, tightly closed flower buds with no evidence of pollen. Do not select a plant displayed near automatic doors where it has been exposed to cold drafts. When you have chosen the perfect poinsettia, wrap it up carefully to protect it from the cold as you get it home.
Find an area in your home with ample bright natural light and place your poinsettia there. Water your plant when the soil is dry to the touch. If there is foil around its pot, remove it or poke holes in it so water can fully drain. This is not a plant that should be left to sit in standing water as it is susceptible to root rot.
Poinsettia Care Calendar
One way to remember when you need to take important steps in the care of your poinsettia plant is to link them with certain holidays throughout the year. We’ve done that for you here.
New Year’s Day – Water to keep soil moist and make sure the plant gets plenty of sunlight with temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees F.
Valentine’s Day – If the poinsettia becomes leggy, prune the stems to between 4 and 6 inches.
St. Patrick’s Day – The plant’s leaves have probably faded by now. Remove them along with any dried parts. Water per usual and add fresh soil if desired.
Memorial Day – Pinch 2-3 inches of new growth from the stems to promote branching. Replant to a slightly larger pot, one size up, and add fresh potting soil.
Father’s Day – You can now move your poinsettia outside. Find a warm, bright spot that gets partial shade in the afternoon.
Fourth of July – Trim the plant again if needed and continue to water. Slightly increase the amount of fertilizer to promote growth.
Labor Day – Move the plant back indoors when the weather gets cool. Place in a sunny window and reduce the amount of fertilizer.
Autumnal Equinox – Starting around September 21, move your poinsettia to a dark room, or under a thick cardboard box so no sunlight can get through for a minimum of 14 hours every night. During the day, the plant should still get plenty of sun; rotate it each day so all sides get even light. Continue watering and fertilizing.
Thanksgiving – End the dark treatment. Put the poinsettia in a war, sunny area. Resume normal watering and stop fertilizing.
Christmas – Enjoy your newly bloomed poinsettia! And afterward, start the whole cycle all over again.
Do not get discouraged if your poinsettia did not rebloom. It’s a difficult process and some plants just won’t do it. You can always try again with another poinsettia. Or, if this whole shebang seems a bit much, then go ahead and toss your poinsettia once the holidays are over. Just make sure you support your local Greenville florist each year by buying a new one!