A holiday favourite, the poinsettia is a cheerful plant with striking red bracts (leaves). Native to Central America, Poinsettias bloom just in time for the holiday season, but since they are used to a tropical environment they don’t do well in cold temperatures. When kept inside and cared for properly, this striking plant will not only thrive but can live all year long to rebloom next season, too! The experts at Ital Florist share with you the steps for reblooming your poinsettia.
Basic Poinsettia Care Tips
Temperature: To recreate the poinsettia’s native environment, keep the temperature between 65 and 70 degrees F during the day and no lower than 55 F at night. Don’t place it in an area prone to cold drafts or where its leaves might touch chilly window panes.
Light: Poinsettias prefer natural, bright light, so placing it in an Eastern or Southern-facing window is ideal. Avoid direct light and look for dappled, indirect light.
Water: When your poinsettia’s top layer of soil is dry to the touch is when you should give it water. A good dose of water to ensure soil is moist but not soggy is preferable. A popular method of watering is to put the plant into your sink and thoroughly soak it. Allow it to drain completely for about an hour. Make sure the roots are not sitting in water, or it could lead to root rot.
If wilting or dropped leaves occur, your poinsettia may be getting too much direct light and not enough humidity. To remedy this situation, water the plant with room-temperature water until the soil becomes moist. Check to make sure the soil stays moist for several hours. Once the plant re-hydrates, it should spring back to health with new leaves appearing over time.
You can coax a poinsettia to rebloom in time for the holidays with a little patience and commitment. Just maintain the poinsettia’s watering and sunlight schedule until early April, when you’ll want to reduce watering and allow the plant to dry out — which will lull it into dormancy. Keep it in a cool location (around 60 F). In May, cut the stems down to around 5 inches in height and repot into a larger container with fresh potting soil. You can also start fertilizing at half-strength weekly. Continue watering when soil is dry to the touch.
In June, move your poinsettia outside to a location with partial afternoon shade as morning light is best. As growth appears, pinch off about an inch to encourage side branching. When the weather cools off again, it’s time to bring your poinsettia back inside.
On Oct. 1st, your poinsettia will require 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness for the next 8-10 weeks. Keep in a sunny place during the day and move to a dark closet or place a box on it during the long night. This will encourage the plant to begin reblooming. By the end of November, you should have beautiful, lush, and bright red “new” poinsettia just in time for the holidays.
If this task seems a bit daunting, no worries! You can always pick up a beautiful poinsettia (or two) from Ital Florist. For more tips or to answer any questions about poinsettias, contact us anytime.