The only plant that heralds the arrival of the holiday season is the Poinsettia. With their bright colorful leaves in shades of red, pink, and white, poinsettia plants are perfect for bringing joy and beauty during the winter. Here at Shirley’s Flower Studio, Bentonville and Rogers premier florist, we are sharing with you the best way to keep your poinsettia all year long and make rebloom for next season, and the season after that! No need to toss this beautiful plant – keep it!
How to Select a Healthy Poinsettia Plant
Today’s poinsettias last longer than they did just years ago and come in a wider variety of colors such as cream, white, pink, salmon, and red (of course). When shopping for a poinsettia, look for healthy green leaves. If you notice an abundance of brown leaves that are curled or about to fall off, leave it. Check the small flowers in the center of the plant as well. They should be tightly closed with no yellow pollen evident yet.
Look at the poinsettia from all sides to make sure it has a full, pleasantly round shape. Make sure no tiny pests have attached themselves to the underside of the leaves. Once you decided on a healthy poinsettia, carefully transport it to your home by carefully wrapping a blanket around it to prevent exposure to cold weather (below 50 degrees F).
Tips for Taking Care of Your Poinsettia
Poinsettias prefer areas with bright indirect light with no cold drafts. Ideally, an area that has dappled sunlight for at least 6 hours. Only water when the top inch of soil is dry. Make sure the soil becomes moist but not soggy. Also check for adequate drainage so the plant’s roots don’t sit in standing water, which could cause root rot. The ideal temperature for a poinsettia is between 60 and 70 degrees F. Keep leaves away from touching the windowpane as the cold could damage it.
After the holidays, a poinsettia’s leaves will fade and eventually fall off. During this phase, cut back the stems and keep your poinsettia in a sunny spot with indirect light. If nighttime temps no longer go below 50 degrees F, then you can move the plant outside to a shady area or on the porch.
During the summer, new growth occurs. Prune the stems down to about 6 inches in height to ensure a full, rounded look. In June, repot your poinsettia into a container one size up with fresh soil and fertilizer at half strength.
Around August, pinch about an inch off of each stem to promote branching for a fuller look. At the end of summer, bring the poinsettia back indoors to begin the reblooming process. To achieve the bright leaf color, certain guidelines must be followed. Specifically, give the plant 12-15 hours of complete, uninterrupted darkness every day. We suggest moving the box to a closet or any small room with a door and placing a cardboard box over it to keep light out. Try to maintain a temperature of around 65 degrees F. During the day, make sure the plant gets plenty of bright, indirect light. This routine should be done every day for at least 7 weeks so start around October 1st.
By mid-November, your poinsettia should start to develop some coloring and fully rebloom. Once the bracts (leaves) have turned completely red, bring the poinsettia out of the closet and care for it as you did last holiday season.
If it didn’t rebloom, don’t get discouraged – just try again next year. In the meantime, you can pick up a lush, vibrant poinsettia here at Shirley’s Flowers Studio your local florist shop.