How to Care for Poinsettias

This time of year nurseries are full of poinsettias and I could swear I see new varieties just about every year. Poinsettias are named after an amatey botanist named Joel Robert Poinsett (1779-1851), who introduced the plant to the United States from Mexico in 1825. This beautiful plant requires very little care. It needs bright, indirect light away from drafts and only water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Poinsettias do not like wet roots, so make sure that the container they are in allows for good drainage.

Red and White Poinsettia Holiday Square Sticker
Red and White Poinsettia Holiday Square Sticker
by northwestphotos

“Poinsettia Care Calendar

Poinsettias can be encouraged to bloom year after year. Follow this care schedule to encourage years of growth and flowering.

Winter: (January – March) Continue watering and enjoying your poinsettia in a sunny window for as long as it’s blooming.

Spring: (March – May) After the blooms fade, the plant enters a resting season until summer. Prune your plant back to 6”-8” tall. Reduce watering and allow the plant to get completely dry between waterings.

Summer: (May – September) Repot if needed in very light potting mix, moving to a slightly larger pot if it appears root-bound. When you see new growth, begin feeding every two weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer. Pinch back the stems as they grow, to encourage branching. You can put your poinsettia outdoors for the summer, but be sure to bring it back inside before temperatures drop into the 50s F.

Fall: (October) Poinsettias bloom in response to shorter days. For about 8-10 weeks prior to the desired bloom time, put your poinsettia in complete darkness for 12-15 hours per day. You can cover it with a thick cardboard box or black plastic bag, or move the plant to a closet, but it needs TOTAL darkness for at least 12 hours per day – even indoor lighting will disrupt the process. During the day, remove the covering and make sure the plant gets at least 6 hours of sunlight. Water and feed as usual.

Holiday Blooms: (November – December) After 8-10 weeks of darkness treatment, you should see flower buds on your poinsettia. Once you do, you can discontinue the darkness treatment and bring it back out to your window after Thanksgiving to enjoy. Continue watering, but stop feeding until spring.”
— Todays Home Owner

Watercolor Merry Christmas Throw Pillow
Watercolor Merry Christmas Throw Pillow
by PrintablePretty

 

 

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