You only cover it for part of the day to make the darkness period (night time) longer. Poinsettias are induced into blooming by shorter daylength. Starting in late September, cover the plants at about 5 p.m. and uncover when you leave for work in the morning or by about 8 a.m. Do this only for about 4 weeks. This will give them short days and trigger the response to color up in time for the holidays.
Keep your poinsettia's soil moist but not soggy to encourage good health. Periodic fertilizing with a complete product is helpful in keeping plants vigorous.
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