Ask a Question forum: poinsettia colors

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Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
Dec 9, 2017 2:03 PM CST
I have 2 poinsettias I kept from last years Christmas. Throw out the summer I enjoyed watching them grow as they started to look like small trees. Very busy brite green beautiful. As I brought them back inside they began getting some red leaves but only partly red . The leaves that did return to red are very lightly colored.
Would there be anyway I could encourage them to turn back to the very bright red they were last year.
My leaves are also very small. Can I encourage it to grow larger leaves at all?
Ill add some pics just to give you an idea on the color the plants are now and that there growing very well just not getting much color back.

Thumb of 2017-12-09/PamelaLynn77/40d8ea

Thumb of 2017-12-09/PamelaLynn77/1fd8f4

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Dec 9, 2017 2:55 PM CST
In order to get Poinsettias to form the colorful bracts you have to control their day length. You can start that now, but they won't be ready for Christmas.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Dec 9, 2017 3:25 PM CST
Pamela, poinsettias form those colored bracts and then "bloom" (the tiny flowers in the middle of the red bracts) after the days get shorter than the nights. They need at least 12 hours of darkness every day to initiate flowering - really dark, darkness as even things like street lights disrupt their day-length cycles.

So, it's probably too late for you to get holiday colors out of those plants this year. Grow them nice and healthy and next year make a note on your calendar to move them to a place that gets the light/dark cycle they need in early October. Then they'll be nice colors for the holidays.

As far as making bigger leaves, well they like hot, dry conditions and lots of sun in the summertime. If you find a really great spot for them, grow them well with fertilizer and enough (not too much) water they will make nice big leaves. In Mexico where they grow wild, you see them 12ft tall at the sides of the road and the leaves/bracts are absolutely huge.

Saw these ones growing on a trip to the Caymans. My friend is about 5ft.9in. and the plant is way taller than he is. The bract in the second picture was over 2ft across.
Thumb of 2017-12-09/dyzzypyxxy/fb01c5 Thumb of 2017-12-09/dyzzypyxxy/c816c9


"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
Dec 9, 2017 4:14 PM CST
Wow. Those are beautiful too! I remember those brackets on mine. I know What I did wrong, I was pinching mine to create more bushy plants throughout the summer, Which did work and these 2 plants do love water and the heat&sunshine thats for sure!! 😊
They would get mad at me when I waited too long to water and drop leaves! Lol and would perk right back up when I watered them.
They did wonderfully moving back inside the house for winter and they still go through more water than my other plants! They are thirsty plants.
Thanks dyzzypyxxy and
porkpal for the info! I appreciate the help alot. Group hug

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