Poinsettia - Knowledgebase Question

Springfield, Vi
Avatar for janvarro
Question by janvarro
September 28, 2009
My poinsettias are dying from the stem up, what can I do to save them? I do not water them daily, I usually water them once a week and they were doing fine now the leaves are fall off and the stem is turning brown from the bottom up.

Answer from NGA
September 28, 2009
Without knowing the complete history of your poinsettias, it's difficult to make a diagnosis. In general, the plants come into color around the holiday season. Shortly thereafter they typically lose their leaves and go into a resting phase. This is important for the health of the plant. After the leaves have fallen off the stems should be cut down to within a few inches of the soil. When it is resting it should be in a cool location and the soil should be allowed to dry out and water should be applied only when the top inch of potting soil is dry to the touch. After about 3 months of resting you can bring the plants into a warmer room or take the containers outdoors and begin watering regularly. The plants will spring to life and if you pinch them periodically to make them bushy they will become full and lovely. In September it's time to begin manipulating the light so the leaves will take on that beautiful red color. If you did not allow your plant to rest, it may have finally run out of strength and can no longer grow. If you did allow it to rest, the browning stems indicate root rot. Even though you've been careful with watering it's possible the roots remained too wet. Wish I had better news for you!

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