It may take some time and commitment, but if the proper steps are taken, then it is possible to get your poinsettia to rebloom. The experts here at Rose Hill Flowers, detail the steps you need to take to get your poinsettia happy and ready to rebloom for next year. We also put together a handy infographic for you at the end of this post.
Once you have brought your poinsettia home, place it in an area where it will receive bright, natural sunlight for at least six hours a day. An east-facing window is ideal; just avoid locations where bright sunlight shines directly onto the leaves, or they will burn, resulting in faded color and dropping off.
To keep your poinsettia vibrant and colorful for as long as possible, keep the plant between 65 and 70 degrees and avoid drafts. They are very sensitive to cold temperatures, and keeping them outside when temps are below 55 F is not recommended.
Watering Your Poinsettia
Poinsettias are from a tropical climate, so they do best in humid conditions, which includes keeping their soil moist but not soggy. Water every 3 to 5 days when the soil is dry to the touch. Make sure your poinsettia is in a drainage pot to avoid root rot. Do not fertilize your poinsettia when it’s in bloom.
Taking Care of a Poinsettia Throughout the Year
Beginning in March or April, the leaves of the poinsettia will have turned a muddy green and fallen off. At this time, cut back the stems to about 8 inches. Keep the plant near a sunny window, avoiding direct light, and new growth should appear around the end of May.
In early July, cut the branches back again to around 6 inches in height. This will encourage a full, bush-like growth. Continue to water plants regularly and keep them in bright indirect light. Moving them outdoors and repotting them during this time is fine. Fertilize every 2-3 weeks during the poinsettia’s dormant period, which is spring, summer, and fall.
Reblooming Your Poinsettia
Starting in early September, pinch away about an inch of new growth from each stem and allow the soil to dry out a bit between each watering. When October 1st rolls around, the poinsettia will require 12-14 hours of complete darkness at night. Called a short-day plant, just like the Christmas cactus, flowers will only form when the day length is 12 hours or less. An easy way to keep your poinsettia in complete darkness during this time is to place a box over it. During the day, maintain its place near a sunny window and keep the temperature between 60 and 70 degrees F. Maintain this routine for 8 – 10 weeks in order for the poinsettia to develop colorful leaves.
If this seems a bit daunting or perhaps too much work, then you can always support your local Nashville florist by purchasing another poinsettia, or two, when the holidays come around.