With some commitment and care, you can keep your poinsettia healthy all year long and even get it to bloom again with the following steps provided by the experts at Welke’s Florist. Also, check out our poinsettia care infographic at the bottom.
Basic Poinsettia Care When In Bloom
First, when you get your poinsettia home, be sure to place it in an area that will receive plenty of bright, natural sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day. An east-facing window is ideal just avoid places where sunlight shines directly onto the leaves or they could burn.
To keep your poinsettia colorful for as long as possible, keep the environment between 65 and 70 degrees. Poinsettias are sensitive to cold temperatures and anything below 55 F is not recommended.
Watering Your Poinsettia
Poinsettias hail from a tropical climate so they love humid conditions, which means keeping the soil moist. Water every three to five days when the soil feels dry. Make sure its pot has ample drainage so it does not sit in standing water which could cause root rot. Don’t fertilize your poinsettia when it’s in bloom.
Year-Round Poinsettia Care
In March or April, the leaves of your poinsettia will begin to turn muddy-looking, faded, and will soon fall off. At this time, prune back the stems to around 7 inches. Keep the plant near a bright window, and you will begin to see new growth near the end of May.
In early July, snip the stems again to five inches in height. Continue routine watering and lighting conditions. Moving the plant outside and repotting is beneficial at this time. Fertilize every two-three weeks when your poinsettia is in its dormant phase, which is usually during the spring, summer, and fall.
Reblooming Your Poinsettia
In early September, pinch back an inch of new growth from the stems and reduce watering to allow the soil to dry out. Beginning October 1st, your poinsettia will need 12-14 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night. Known as a “short-day” plant, poinsettias need ample darkness for their flowers to form. An easy way to keep your plant in darkness during this time is to place a thick cardboard box over it. During the day, keep it in a sunny window and maintain a warm environment of 60 – 70 degrees F. Continue this routine for 8 – 10 weeks until your poinsettia develops colorful leaves, and then voila! You get to enjoy your plant for another holiday season!
If this seems a bit daunting or perhaps too much work for you, then you can feel good about supporting your local Milwaukee florist by purchasing new poinsettias each year when the holidays come back around.