The Q&A Archives: poinsettia

Question: I received a beautiful poinsettia at Christmas and I never had the feel to cut back when I put it on my porch when the weather warmed up.
I just couldn't cut the beautiful red flowers when they were so vibrant. Needless to say the new green has started not from the soil up but around the faded flowers. What do I do at this point? The green looks healthy but the plant looks top heavy. Do I take the bracks off at this point? I usually try to keep a poinsettia from year to year and this one has served me well on my porch but need any advice that you can give so that this plant can continue to be a think of beauty. Help!! Thanks again.

Answer: It is too late in the season to cut your poinsettia back and still hope to have color in December, so you may simply want to enjoy your leggy plant this season and cut it back after it has finished flowering. If you pinch out the growing tips in the spring and early summer, your plant will be full and bushy instead of tall and leggy. If flowering doesn't matter to you this year, prune the entire plant down to 6-8 inches. You'll get new growth from below the cuts but there's probably not enough time for the new stems and foliage to bring you that lovely red color this winter. Best wishes with your poinsettia.

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