The Q&A Archives: Poinsettia Christmas Rose Or Winter Rose

Question: I just received a Christmas Rose or Winter Rose Poinsettia. This is an unusual plant and I would like to keep it for next year. What do I do to guarantee it will bloom again? Also, can this be propagated by cuttings? If so, when do I start the cuttings and get them to bloom for gifts for next year?

Answer: It's care would be the same as other poinsettias, which are often difficult to get to rebloom but here's how to go about it. Good luck!

Winter care: Place the plant in an area with a half-day of direct sun, and water only when the soil is dry.

Spring care: As side shoots develop, prune back old branches to where new growth starts, and repot with fresh soilless potting mix. Begin fertilizing with all- purpose houseplant food.

Summer care: After last frost, place plant outdoors where it receives morning sun. Sink pot into ground. Keep well watered, and prune off growing tips twice a month to create bushier plants. Continue fertilizing.

Fall care: Bring plant indoors in September before first frost. To induce flowering, give the plant direct sun or artificial light each day, and 14 hours of uninterrupted dark each night, beginning in early October. Keep the soil moist, and stop fertilizing. Color should form on bracts in six to eight weeks.

Poinsettia is usually propagated by cuttings taken in mid spring when the plants are normally trimmed back for repotting, but you could try with a cutting taken any time. Use four to six inch tip cuttings and set them into barely moist/damp sand. Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag to maintain humidity and set it in a very bright location out of direct sunlight. Move to individual pots when rooted; allow to acclimate to being in the pot and then move to bright direct sun; keep them evenly moist but not soggy.

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