If you feel a little guilty throwing away your poinsettias once the holiday season has ended, then don’t! You may not realize it, but with proper year-round care, poinsettias can rebloom in time for the next winter season. The experts at Walter Knoll Florist will help do it. Use the following steps below to care for your poinsettia so it remains healthy all year long. Also, check out our infographic at the end of this post for an easy reminder of important poinsettia care times.
How to Care for Your Poinsettia Plant
Once you have selected your colorful, healthy-looking poinsettia, keep it warm during the transport to your home. If it’s chilly and windy out, be sure to wrap it up and don’t leave it sitting in a cold car for hours as its leaves will begin to drop. Since the poinsettia is native to Central America, it’s important to replicate that tropical environment as much as possible for your plant to thrive.
- Poinsettias prefer bright natural light so find an eastern or southern-facing window that gets plenty of daylight. Avoid direct sunlight, though.
- Do not put your poinsettia in a drafty spot or near appliances that generate heat.
- Poinsettias prefer an environment with temperatures around 65 F during the day and 60-65 at night. These are the ideal temperature that will help your poinsettia maintain its color longer.
- Water only when the soil feels dry to the touch as the soil should be kept moderately moist. Remove foil wrapper before watering so the pot can drain. Do not let the poinsettia sit in standing water.
- Continue to care for your poinsettia as you have been through March.
- In early April, cut the stems back to about 6 inches. Continue watering as usual and keep in a sunny location.
- As soon as you notice new growth, begin fertilizing at half-strength weekly. This is also a good time to repot your plant into a larger container, no more than 4 inches larger, though.
- In the summer, you can move your poinsettia outside to a partially shaded area. A spot that gets full morning sun and shade in the afternoon is best.
- In July, pinch about 1 inch off of each stem to promote side branching.
- In September, when the weather starts to cool, bring the poinsettia back inside. Continue to water and fertilize as you have been.
- Starting October 1, and for the next 8-10 weeks, your poinsettia requires 14 hours of complete darkness daily. Cover it with a cardboard box or place in a dark closet that gets no light at all.
- Around the end of November or early December, if reblooming was successful, your poinsettia will have vibrant red leaves just like when you purchased it a year ago. Stop fertilizing and resume caring for your plant as you did when you first got it.
There you have it! You no longer “have” to toss your poinsettia after the holidays. However, if this seems like too much work, then you can feel good about supporting your local St. Louis florist and greenhouse by purchasing a new one every year.