Since the weather has cooled and the calendar says it’s December, one of the flowers we all look forward to this time of year is the poinsettia. They are beautiful and enhance the looks of any home or office. But sadly they only last for just a short time. However, here are a few tips you might try if you would like to coax your poinsettia to bloom again for another year:
- Christmas: Pick a colorful plant with tightly clustered yellow buds. Protect it from hot or cold drafts, water when dry and place in a room with enough natural light for reading.
- New Year’s: Apply fertilizer. Continue light and water. The plant should remain colorful for many weeks.
- Valentine’s Day: If your plant has become long and leggy, prune to five inches from the soil.
- Patrick’s Day: Remove faded and dried parts of the plant. Add more soil, preferably a commercially-available sterile mix.
- Memorial Day: Trim off two or three inches from the ends of branches to promote side branching. Repot to larger container. Move plant outside – first to indirect, then direct light.
- Fourth of July: Trim plant again. Make sure it has full sunlight. Slightly increase the amount of fertilizer.
- Labor Day: Move plant indoors, but make sure it has six hours of direct light from an uncurtained window. Reduce fertilizer.
- First Day of Autumn: Starting on or near Sept. 21, give plant 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 11 hours of bright light per day. Keep night temperatures in the lower 60s. Continue to water and fertilize. Rotate plant each day to give all sides even light.
- Thanksgiving: Discontinue day/night treatment. Put plant in a sunny area, Reduce water and fertilizer. Then wait for those beautiful blooms to reappear.
I’ve tried to “save” many poinsettias, but this is the only method that works for me. Good Luck!