Poinsettias, whose bright petal-like bracts appear in late fall, have long been the most popular Christmas plant.
Hybridization has brought about many improvements to the fragile poinsettia. Plants are now more colorful and they last longer.
Caring for Your Poinsettia
- Should your poinsettia be wrapped in foil, punch a hole in the bottom of it to provide good drainage. Place the pot on a saucer.
- Leave the poinsettia in an area where it will receive as much indirect sunlight as possible. Do not place it in a draft.
- Water the plant thoroughly when soil surface is dry to the touch. Keep soil moist at all times, but not soggy. DO NOT WATER OR MIST BLOOMS.
- After the Christmas season and replanting, fertilize poinsettias every three weeks with a good soluble blooming plant food.
How to Grow Your Poinsettia after Christmas
Cut back the plant after flowering and repot using premium potting soil mix. Cuttings from the tips of new growth can be rooted in summer. Fertilize every two weeks in spring and summer.
Flowers will develop only with ten to twelve hours of uninterrupted darkness each day for forty plus days. To ensure flowers for Christmas, place poinsettias in a closet or a dark corner of a storage room from late afternoon until morning each day from the latter part of September through October. Brightly colored bracts will develop.