When the Christmas season is over and you are cleaning up your holiday decorations, most people will just throw away their poinsettia plants. However, if you are among the brave few who want to keep their plant until the next year there is a pretty strict regime to follow. For as easy as these plants were to take care of over Christmas, they will require lots of attention during the rest of the year. If you have the true heart of a gardener and are up for the challenge, here are the steps to follow to get your poinsettia plant re-bloom for next year.
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From the beginning of January through the end of May, you should continue to give your poinsettia plenty of light and water. You can add a simple plant fertilizer to your watering routine around every 2-3 weeks. Soon the bracts, or the red leaves that look like the “flower” of the plant will begin to fade and eventually fall off. This should be around early April. When that happens it is time to prune your poinsettia plant back to about 6 inches tall.
When the weather begins to get warm in June it is time to re-pot the plant with fresh soil. This is also when you should move your plant into direct sunlight. You can either put your plant into a planter with some fresh potting soil, or you can plant it directly into your garden. If you are putting your plant in a pot, your front porch is an ideal place to set your poinsettia plant. As long as the plant is in the shade during the hottest parts of the day, it should be fine. If you chose to plant your poinsettia into a garden, you need to stop the roots from growing into the ground. This can be done by picking the plant up and turning it weekly. Keeping the roots from growing will make it easier to bring the plant back indoors.
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When the weather begins to fall below 50 degrees at night time it is time to bring your poinsettia plants back indoors. Remember, these plants really don’t like the cold! It is now time to help the poinsettia plant re-bloom. This simply means forcing the bracts to change color. To do this you need to keep the plant in darkness through the night. Put your plant into a dark closet around 5 pm and pull it out around 8 am the next day. This needs to be done daily! After you pull the plant out of darkness, give it bright sunlight for the next 6-8 hours before returning it to the dark. Meanwhile, you should be continuing to feed your poinsettia plant with plant fertilizer every week. This will give the plant the energy and nutrients it needs to help the poinsettia plant re-bloom
Winter – Time for the Poinsettia Plant to Re-Bloom
Around Thanksgiving you should be noticing a slight change of color in the bracts.This is a good indicator that it is time to stop the dark and light routine. Keep the plant moist, and in bright sunlight. You will see your plant quickly begin to color the bracts. When the plant bracts are fully colored you can stop the watering and fertilizing. At this point your poinsettia plant re-bloom is complete! You can now set your plant where it can be admired for the rest of the season. Treat it like a regular Christmas house plant and only water the plant when the soil is dry.
Congratulations! Helping to care for a poinsettia plant throughout the entire year and help it re-bloom is a difficult task. Although helping a poinsettia plant re-bloom can be challenging and tedious, it is also rewarding. What a great feeling to have the same plant enchant your Christmas decor year after year after year!