Pointsettia Care - Knowledgebase Question

Franklin Square, NY
Question by kevinfg
October 31, 1997
We have tried keeping poinsetta plants year to year and have lost them. What are the proper light levels, watering and feeding for fall and winter?


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Answer from NGA
October 31, 1997

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It takes some effort to get pointettias to re-bloom. Here's the way to proceed:

After the holidays, to prolong the bloom, keep the plant at a constant temperature (on the cool side) with plenty of light--a bright window is good, but beware ofoverheating in full sun. Sudden temperature changes and drafts will cause leaf drop. After flowering, stop fertilizing and move to a cool spot with lower levels of light. In May, cut the plant back.

In early October, resume fertilizing and limit light to 10 hours a day to initiate flowering. A good place is a dark closet, as long as it won't be opened to allow any light in--it is critical that the dark period is uninterrupted. Just remember to bring the plant out into the light during it's 10-hour "day", and give it complete darkness the other 14 hours. The bracts should color up again in time for the holidays.

Also the soil should be free draining. If not, repot using 1 part vermiculite, 1 part sphagnum moss and 1 part standard potting mix.

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