Pointsettia - Knowledgebase Question

Fountain Valley, CA
Avatar for zirbes
Question by zirbes
January 17, 2000
There is a poinsettia plant in the backyard of our new home on the east side. It is about three feet tall and very leggy. I've never seen an in ground pointsettia before so I don't know how to judge this one. The flowers are very small compared to normal plants you buy at Christmas time. I guess my question is, can I prune this way back like roses now?

Answer from NGA
January 17, 2000
Euphorbia pulcherrima is the botanical name of your shrubby poinsettia. It's naturally leggy when grown outdoors, but you can control its growth habit by thinning the branches in the summer months so it will develop new growth in the center of the plant. Cut back at 2-month intervals to help the plant fill in and develop flowering stems. To promote red color, feed every 2 weeks with a high-nitrogen fertilizer as soon as color begins to show.

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