If you feel guilty tossing out your poinsettia after the holiday season, then don’t! You may not know this, but with proper year-round care, you can get your poinsettia to bloom in time for next season. Follow the steps below from the floral experts at Mancuso’s Florist to care for your poinsettia so it remains healthy all year long.
How to Care for Your Poinsettia Plant
Once you have picked the perfect, healthy-looking poinsettia, keep it warm as you transport it home. If it is chilly out, wrap it up and don’t keep it in a cold car for hours as its leaves could drop. The poinsettia is native to Central America, so it is important to replicate a tropical environment for the plant to thrive.
- Poinsettias prefer bright, natural sunlight so put them in an eastern or southern-facing window that gets ample amounts of daylight. Avoid direct sunlight, though.
- Do not keep your poinsettia in an area that gets cold drafts or next to appliances that generate heat.
- Poinsettias thrive in warm environments with temperatures around 65 F during the day and no lower than 60 F at night. These temperatures will help your poinsettia maintain its vibrant color longer.
- Water only when the topsoil is dry and keep moderately moist. Remove any foil wrappers before watering so the pot can thoroughly drain. Do not allow your poinsettia to sit in standing water.
Getting Your Poinsettia to Rebloom
- Continue caring for your poinsettia like this until the end of March.
- In early April, snip the stems to about six inches. Continue watering as usual and keep it in a sunny location.
- As soon as you see new growth, begin fertilizing at half-strength every week. Now is also a good time to repot your poinsettia into a larger pot, no more than 4 inches bigger, though.
- In the summer, you can transfer your poinsettia outside into a partially shaded area. Choose a spot that gets full sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
- In July, pinch 1-2 inches off of each of the stems to promote side branching.
- In September, when the weather cools down, bring your poinsettia back inside. Continue to water and fertilize.
- Starting October 1st, and for the next 10 weeks, your poinsettia will need 14 hours of complete darkness each night. Cover the plant with a cardboard box or place it in a dark closet that gets no light.
- Around the end of Nov. or early Dec., if reblooming was successful, your poinsettia will have bright, colorful red leaves just like when you purchased it last season. Stop fertilizing and start caring for your plant as you did last December.
There you have it! You don’t need to toss your poinsettia after the holidays. However, if this seems like too much effort, that’s OK. You can feel good about supporting your local St. Clair Shores florist by purchasing a new one every year.