Home Grown

Tips and resources for farmers and gardeners

Preserving Poinsettia

As the holidays pass, they usually take with them the colorful blooms of the poinsettia plant. There are ways, however, to extend the life and blooms of the plant. Here are some tips:
  • Place the poinsettia in a sunny window.
  • Do not let any part of the plant touch cold window panes.
  • Indoor temperatures from 60F to 70F are ideal for long plant life.
  • High temperatures will shorten the life of the colorful bracts.
  • Water only when the soil is dry.
  • Placing your poinsettia in a cool room (55F to 60F) at night will extend blooming time.
  • Do not fertilize when plant is in bloom.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations and warm or cold drafts.
The plant can be moved outside in the spring.

"The key is to do it at the right time," said Jane Scherer, University of Illinois Extension urban programs specialist. "Move your poinsettia plant outdoors when all danger of frost has passed. Place it in a sunny area but where it will get moderate shade in the afternoon."

The plant should be fertilized once a month with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.

To get a poinsettia to bloom you have to keep it in total darkness between 5 pm and 8 am. Start this around October 1 and continue until color shows on the bracts, usually around early to mid-December. Any exposure to light can prevent flowering. Covering the plant with a light-proof bag and placing it in a closet may work. Nighttime temperatures above 70-75F can decay or prevent flowering.

Before watering, be sure to remove foil covering drain holes before watering. Water only when the soil is dry. Do not let the poinsettia wilt. Do not let it sit with water in the saucer. Empty the saucer.

Source: The Poinsettia Pages


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Growing Guides
Growing Guides

The Ecke Poinsettia Manual
The Ecke Poinsettia Manual

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