The colorful poinsettia blooms in the middle of winter which makes them a popular houseplant for the holidays. Plus, their bright red bracts (leaves) are the same colors as Christmas. The poinsettia can thrive from Thanksgiving to Christmas and even months longer with proper care. In fact, they can be kept as a houseplant for years and with a little effort can rebloom each year, too. Follow the below guide from the floral experts at Campbell’s flowers for poinsettia care and reblooming.
Caring for a Poinsettia Year-Round
Once you get your poinsettia home, find a sunny window with plenty of bright, indirect, natural light and place it there. Make sure there are no cold drafts or excess heat from electric appliances. Also, don’t let the leaves touch the cold window as they might die. The soil should be kept moist but not soggy.
When the leaves begin to turn yellow and fade, and your poinsettia is not looking as pretty as when you first got it, then gradually reduce water to allow the plant to dry out a bit. This will lull it into its rest period. The leaves will begin to fall off, including the colorful bracts. Once all the leaves are gone, put the plant in a cool, dark room (around 50-60 F). Continue to water but only enough to prevent it from withering.
In late spring, remove the poinsettia from storage. Trim its stems to about 5 inches from above the soil. Repot into a larger container with fresh potting soil. Water until the soil is fairly well soaked allowing the excess water to drain. Return your poinsettia to a warm, sunny window. When the plant begins actively growing, start fertilizing monthly with a half-strength diluted solution.
When summer arrives and temperatures stay above 55 at night, you can move your poinsettia outdoors to an area with some shade. Maintain a regular fertilizing schedule and water when the topsoil becomes dry. Pinch the tips off of new stems to get a bushy plant. Just leave two to three nodes on each new stem.
Around September when temperatures begin to drop, move the plant back indoors and return to a window with full sun. Keep the plant away from drafts, low temps, and soggy soil. The ideal night temps range between 60-65 F and ideal day temps are 65- 75 F.
Known as a “short-day” plant, poinsettias thrive when exposed to only 8-10 hours of daylight. At night, during this time, it’s imperative they receive complete non-interrupted darkness for 12-16 hours. Starting Oct.1, keep the plant in a sunny window during the day and in a dark closet or under a sturdy box for 10 weeks. Continue watering and fertilizing until mid-December.
Next? Your reward — a beautifully rebloomed poinsettia! Give yourself a pat on the back for your dedication and hard work. If your poinsettia did not rebloom, don’t despair – some plants just won’t. If you feel this is too much work, that’s OK. Your local Pueblo florist appreciates your support when you purchase new poinsettias from them every year!