Poinsettias are linked to the holiday season because of their vibrant red color which resembles the colors of Christmas, and because they bloom during this time of year. Though not commonly seen after the holiday season, poinsettias can remain in bloom for months after Christmas – and even rebloom for next season – with the proper care. So, think twice about giving your poinsettia the old heave-ho this year, and keep it around a bit longer to see what happens. Just follow the below poinsettia care guidelines from the floral experts at Griffin’s Floral Design.
Poinsettia Care Schedule
Jan – Mar: Poinsettias thrive in areas with ample natural light, so place it in a sunny window and water when the top soil feels dry. Do not let the plant sit in standing water.
April: This is the rest period for your poinsettia. To lull it into its dormant phase, gradually decrease watering and allow the soil to dry out a bit – water enough to keep the stems from withering. Put it in a cool place, around 60 F, and let it rest.
May: After a month of rest, snip the stems to around five inches. Move the plant to a slightly larger container with fresh potting soil. Begin watering more frequently and fertilize it to wake it up. Return it to a sunny spot.
June: Move your plant outdoors so it can benefit from the bright sun and warmer temperature. A partially shaded area is ideal. Continue to water and fertilize.
July: In early July, pinch back an inch of new growth to encourage branching and preventing the plant from looking leggy.
Aug – Sep: Continue pruning new growth to achieve a full look. When the weather starts to cool sometime around Sep 1, place the poinsettia back inside. Put in a sunny window and maintain the normal watering and fertilizing schedule.
October: This is the time to coax the poinsettia into reblooming. Staring October first, your poinsettia should only receive 8 to 10 hours of daylight. The rest of the time, the plant needs complete darkness – uninterrupted darkness for 12-14 hours is imperative. Any exposure to light during this darkness period will delay blooming.
Nov – Dec: The reward for your dedication and patience is hopefully evident now as the leaves should start changing colors to bright red. Eventually, it will become a full-blown re-bloomed poinsettia. Discontinue the fertilizer at this time and water as you did this time last year.
Easy, right? Well, not always as there are no guarantees the plant will rebloom. If the process of reblooming and keeping your poinsettia throughout the years seems daunting or too much effort, that’s OK! You can feel good about yourself by supporting your local Columbus florist by purchasing new poinsettias from them each year.