Keeping poinsettias - Knowledgebase Question

Question by theshopformo
February 8, 2009
How do you keep poinsettias??
Mine did die, I cut the top off and was told the bulb would come back,
Do I need to replant or just leave in its pot?

Answer from NGA
February 8, 2009


To keep poinsettias from one year to the next is a bit of a challenge. But, it CAN be done. Here's the procedure, starting from shortly after the holidays. Take the poinsettia 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 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! By the way, Poinsettias do have flowers, but they are those tiny, little yellow things in the middle of the colored bracts. When you buy poinsettias always look for ones that have those little flowers as tightly closed as possible. That's one way to keep them looking beautiful longer.

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