The Q&A Archives: Water Or No Water After Leaves Fall/Dark Closet?

Question: While my poinsetta is waiting to be 'cut back' in May AND thereafter ('Dark Closet'cycle)do I give it any water? And When?

Answer: Keep your poinsettia on a bright windowsill in a cool room. Water as needed to keep it from going bone dry, it shouldn't wilt. As it begins to grow when the days lengthen, you will need to water it a bit more. In May cut it back to about six inches, then pinch out the growth tips to make it branch and grow dense. Once the weather settles and nights are reliably over 50, move it outside in morning sun or bright dappled light all day, fertilize regularly and water more generously. You want to encourage it to grow in the summer. In the fall, mid September, bring it inside and begin giving it the long nights in a closet or set a box over it or keep it in a room that receives ONLY natural light (no streetlight, no porch light, no lights turned on in the room.) The darkness must be uninterrupted each night. When it is back inside, it will need less water again as it slows down. Good luck with your poinsettia!

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