The Q&A Archives: Pruning Poinsettias

Question: Our poinsettias have completed blooming. Is it time to cut them back, and should they be pruned again later?

Answer: The best way to handle Poinsettias is to prune them back in late winter or early spring after blooming is over or after the danger of frost is passed. They should be cut back to within 12 to 18 inches of the ground unless they have been frozen below this point, in which event they should be cut back to "live" wood.<br><br>A compact plant may be obtained at flowering time, rather than one with a few long, unbranched canes, if the plants are pruned several times during the growing season. The newgrowth, after it is 12 inches long, should be cut back, leaving 4 leaves on each shoot. This operation should be repeated every time the new growths develop until about September 10. Pruning in this manner will produce a nice compact plant with many flowers. Pruning after <br>September 10 may interfere with flowering, as these plants set their buds soon after October 10.<br><br>Plants should be set where there will be no light at night, such as street lights or light from windows. The time of bloom ofthe poinsettia is influenced by the length of day.

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