Care of Poinsettias - Knowledgebase Question

Swarthmore, PA
Question by rie050
April 10, 1999
How do you give proper care to your flowers to make them re-bloom for next year?


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Answer from NGA
April 10, 1999

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To keep poinsettias from one year to the next is a bit of a challenge. But, it CAN be done. Are you ready for that challenge? Here's the procedure, starting from shortly after the holidays. Good luck with your project!

Take the poinsettia with the leafless stems and
"drying out soil" and prune the stems back to stubs about 4
inches high. Put the pot in a cool,
shady area of the house and keep the soil ALMOST dry.

When spring arrives and it's warm enough to put your
houseplants outside it's time to deal with
this plant again. Repot it into a pot slightly larger than the
one in which it had been planted. Put it
into the garden in a slightly shaded area, sinking the pot into
the soil to help keep it from drying
out. As soon as the temperatures begin to cool down in the
very early fall bring it back indoors.

Now, life gets a bit complicated. Put it into a very sunny
location until sometime in September or
early October, when you will place it in TOTAL darkness
for 13-14 hours every night. This is
REALLY important. If you have a room that is not lived in
at all, it can stay there. But if you put
lights on at any time in that room...it won't work! If that's the
case, it must be moved from
darkness (such as a dark closet) into light every
day...faithfully.

When the bracts have colored again...bring them out and
start bragging!

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