A plant that’s a holiday favorite in America, every December it’s impossible to be out and about without seeing poinsettia plants and their striking red blooms everywhere. Native to Central America, poinsettias bloom during the holiday season, but they actually hate the cold as they prefer a tropical-like environment. But, with a little care and some commitment, you can keep a poinsettia thriving throughout the holiday season and more. In fact, you may even get it to rebloom again, just follow the below steps by the floral experts at Marco Island Florist to find out how.
Basic Poinsettia Care Tips
Temperature: Keep indoor temperatures at 65 F and above during the day and 55 F and above at night. Make sure your plant is not in an area that gets cold drafts or is too close to a window where its leaves could touch a chilly window pane.
Light: Poinsettias love natural, bright light so a spot in an eastern or southern-facing window is ideal.
Water: Water your poinsettia only when the soil feels dry. One method of watering is to put the plant in a sink and thoroughly soak it. Then, allow it to drain completely which could take up to 1 hour. Before returning the plant to its tray, make sure the roots are not sitting in standing water or it could cause root rot.
If you notice wilting or dropped leaves, your poinsettia may be receiving too much direct light and not enough humidity. To fix this situation, water with room-temperature water until the soil is moist and stays that way for several hours. Once the plant re-hydrates, it will return to life with new leaves appearing over time.
It’s possible to coax a poinsettia to rebloom in time for the holidays — it just takes a little patience and some commitment. Maintain the poinsettia’s watering schedule until early April when watering should be reduced to allow the plant to dry out and go into its dormant phase. Move your plant to a cool location (around 60 F).
In May, prune the stems down to around five inches and repot into a slightly larger container with fresh soil. Start fertilizing at half-strength weekly. Continue watering only when soil feels dry.
In June, your poinsettia can be moved outside to a location that is partially shaded. Morning light and afternoon shade for the plant is best. As new growth develops, pinch off an inch to encourage side branching. When the weather becomes cooler towards the end of September, it’s time to move your poinsettia back inside.
On Oct. 1st, your poinsettia will need to start the darkness treatment which entails 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness for the next 8-10 weeks. Keep your plant in a sunny place during the day. The long stretches of darkness will encourage the poinsettia to bloom. By the end of November, you should have a lush and vibrant poinsettia just in time for the holidays.
If the task of reblooming seems a bit daunting and isn’t’ for you, no worries! You can always take pride in supporting your local florist by purchasing a new poinsettia (or two) each year. For more tips on caring for poinsettias, contact us anytime.