It’s Poinsettia time! To keep yours lasting through the December holidays, use these simple tips
- Keep in a room with enough indirect sunlight to read a newspaper for at least six hours per day.
- The room temperature should be 60 to 70 degrees F.
- When the soil feels dry, apply water until some excess drains out.
- Place on a TV set, adjacent to appliances, heaters or in a cold or hot draft.
- Set in water, or leaves will drop.
- Apply fertilizer when the bracts are in “bloom.”
If you’re feeling really ambitious, follow this timeline for keeping and growing your plants for next season.
- New Year’s Day – Continue to water as needed.
- Valentine’s Day – After the bracts fade or fall, prune to 5 inches high, set the plant where it will receive indirect light, temperatures at 55 to 60 degrees F. Water just enough to keep the stems from shriveling and apply a balanced-houseplant fertilizer
- St. Patrick’s Day – Remove dried stems and leaves, then apply a water-soluble balanced-houseplant fertilizer.
- When new growth appears, transplant it to a larger container with fresh potting mix and gradually move it to full sunlight. During the warm months, it will grow best in moist-rich potting mix, and in a bright sunlight area that is free from drafts.
- Memorial Day – Prune the new growth back to force several stems.
- July 4th – Prune the new growth back, and increase the fertilizer.
- Labor Day – Move plant indoors so it only has six hours of sunlight, reduce the fertilizer, and prune – but no more after Labor Day.
- First Day of Autumn – Plant should receive only 10 hours of full sunlight during the day and 14 hours of total darkness each night, with night temperatures at 65 to 70 degrees F. Once the bracts start to change color, it can be moved back out to regular daylight hours.
- Thanksgiving – Discontinue day/night treatment, move plant into a sunny area, and reduce water.