Poinsettias are associated with Christmas and the holiday season no doubt due to their vibrant red color and because they are everywhere this time of year. However, poinsettias can actually last months now and even longer with the proper care. So, before you give your poinsettia the old heave-ho this year, try keeping it around a bit longer by following the below steps. Also, check out the helpful infographic the experts at Tulsa’s best florist, Mary Murray’s Flowers, put together for you at the end of this post.
Poinsettia Care Schedule
Jan – Mar: Poinsettias thrive in bright natural light, so place your plant in a sunny window and water when the soil is dry to the touch. Make sure the plant does not sit in standing water.
April: This is the beginning of the rest period for the poinsettia. To encourage it to go into its dormant phase, gradually decrease watering allowing the soil to dry out a bit – just make sure the stem doesn’t begin to wither. Find a cool place, around 60 F , to put it and let it rest for a bit.
May: After about a month of rest, prune back the stems of the poinsettia to 5 inches. Now would also be a good time to repot it with fresh soil. Begin watering more frequently and fertilizing to wake it up and return it to a sunny spot.
June: Move your plant outside so it can benefit from the sun and warmer temperatures. A partially shaded area is best. Continue to water and fertilize
July: In early July, pinch back about an inch of new growth to prevent the plant from looking leggy.
Aug – Sep: Continue pinching new growth to obtain a full look. When the weather begins to cool around Sep 1, bring the poinsettia back indoors. Place in a sunny window and continue to water and fertilize.
October: This is the beginning of the reblooming phase and it requires the plant to only receive 10-12 hours of daylight. For the other 12-14 hours, the plant needs to be in complete, uninterrupted darkness. Any exposure to light during this period will delay blooming. Put in a dark closet or place a box over it.
Nov – Dec: Your reward for patience and dedication should be evident now as you’ll see the leaves changing colors to bright red and eventually become a full-blown re-bloomed poinsettia. Discontinue the fertilizer but water as you did this time last year when you first purchased your plant.
Easy peasy, right? Perhaps not, as there are no guarantees your plant will rebloom. It may be daunting or too much effort for some people, but that’s OK! Support your local florist by purchasing one or two new poinsettias from them each year and don’t stress out about trying to get them to rebloom – unless you want to, of course.