Poinsettia Care Instructions
Poinsettia plants can thrive throughout the winter months, meaning you don’t have to get rid of them right after Christmas. With proper care, you can maintain your plants well into February or March. Below are some quick tips on how to care for a poinsettia:
- Place in a well-lit area. If you can arrange your poinsettias in an east-facing window to take advantage of the morning sun and indirect light throughout the afternoon and evening, this will be best.
- Water regularly in a pot with good drainage. Poinsettias tend to need frequent watering whenever the top of the soil feels dry or the leaves start to wilt. Be sure any excess water can drain out the base of the pot to avoid root rot. After watering, drain the excess water from the basket.
- Maintain warmer temperatures through winter. Since poinsettias are originally tropical plants, they need indoor temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees to thrive. You can also lightly mist the leaves each day to keep them vibrant and fresh. Be cautious on overwatering though and let the top
How to get your Poinsettia to rebloom
After the holidays, poinsettia bracts will gradually shrivel up and fall off, but the plant will rebloom the following holiday season with overwintering and proper care.
- Prune your poinsettia plant. Once the bracts have fallen off, prune the plant so the stem is four to six inches tall. Leave one to three leaves on each stem to encourage new growth and keep the plant looking tidy.
- Fertilize the poinsettia every two weeks. As the poinsettia grows new shoots, fertilize the plant with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer.
- Repot the plant in warmer months. In June, prune the plant back until it’s six inches tall, and repot the plant into a slightly larger container. Fill the pot with well-draining potting soil, and water the plant until the water drains out.
- Transport your plant outdoors. Though poinsettias are usually displayed as indoor plants, over the summer, as the temperatures are warm all day and all night, you can also move the plant outside.
- Pinch to encourage side branching. As the poinsettias grow in July and August, pinch an inch off the tip of each stem to promote side branching. Otherwise, the plant will grow long and leggy. Give the plant a final trim in September—the plant will be primarily green leaves at this point.
- Place the poinsettia in a warm, dark environment. Poinsettias are short-day plants that need uninterrupted darkness to trigger new bracts. In the fall, transport the poinsettias to a warm place where they can get 14 to 15 hours of complete darkness every day. You can put them in a closet and cover them with a box, though they should still get around 9 to 10 hours of daily indirect light. At this point, reduce the amount of fertilizer.
- Display your poinsettia plant. The poinsettia should develop colored bracts by mid-November. After that, discontinue fertilizing and take the plant out to display. Care for the plant as you would under normal conditions during the winter months.