The Q&A Archives: poinsettas

Question: i have 3 poinsettas from 2 years ago . They love outside morning heat .If a leaf gets broke white liquid comes out.then the stem dies,why is that?I want to make them bloom christmas,what should i do?Also, i would like to make more plants,how do i do this? Thank you. mc

Answer: Poinsettias are members of the euphorbia family and they have a white latex type fluid within the tissues of the plant. It's natural for members of this family. You will find similar latex in rubber tree plants. Poinsettias require a long, dark period before they will initiate flower buds. Normally, they set flower buds in early October when nights are becoming increasingly longer. If the dark period is interrupted with the light from a window, street light or any other light source, flowering will be markedly delayed or the plant may not flower at all. Just a short period of light during the dark period is enough to delay or prevent flowering. So the best way to ensure your plant flowers in December is to put it into a dark closet for 12-14 hours out of every 24 hours period. Just set it in the dark every night at 5 p.m. and take it out every morning. Start this treatment in October and your plant should set flower buds for you. If your plant is large you can divide it into smaller plants. Good luck with your poinsettia.

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