As the holiday season comes to a close, you might be wondering what to do with those poinsettias of yours… These festive plants are a holiday staple, but with proper care, they can be enjoyed long after the decorations come down.
In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best ways to care for your poinsettias and keep them thriving well beyond the holidays. From choosing the right location to pruning and repotting, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your poinsettias healthy and beautiful all year round.
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What to do with Poinsettias After Christmas
To keep your poinsettias healthy and vibrant after the holiday season, it’s important to find a spot for them that gets plenty of bright, indirect sunlight – at least six hours a day. Around mid-April, give the stems a gentle pinch back to about 6-8 inches and move the plants to a sunny location. As new growth appears, you can use a liquid fertilizer to provide the necessary minerals, especially calcium, to ensure your poinsettias thrive. With these simple steps, you can enjoy the beauty of your poinsettias all year round!
Initial Care for Poinsettia Plants After Christmas
Caring for poinsettia plants after the holiday season can be a bit tricky. To keep your potted poinsettia healthy and vibrant, there are a few key steps to follow. First, ensure your plant is in a well-lit spot, such as a windowsill with indirect sunlight. The ideal room temperature for poinsettias is between 60-70°F (15-21°C).
Watering is an important part of poinsettia care. Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet and allow it to dry out slightly between waterings. To prevent root rot and overwatering, make sure the pot has drainage holes and use a shallow saucer to catch any excess water.
Additionally, it is helpful to occasionally mist your poinsettia to maintain humidity, as dry indoor environments can cause the plant to wither. Be cautious of cold drafts or heat vents, as these can cause significant stress to the plant.
The Transition to Outdoors
To ensure successful poinsettia growth, follow these steps:
First, gradually introduce the plant to the outdoor environment. Place it in a sheltered spot for a few hours each day, gradually increasing exposure to sunlight. Poinsettias appreciate indirect sun, so pick a location where it will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Next, prepare the soil by loosening it and ensuring proper drainage to accommodate the poinsettia’s roots. When transplanting, make sure the soil line of the plant is level with the surrounding soil to avoid burying the stem.
Once your poinsettia is in its new home, focus on summer care. Water regularly, but avoid overwatering, as these plants are sensitive to soggy soil. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to encourage growth.
As a poinsettia grows, it might become a large shrub, providing an impressive display in your garden. With proper care, your poinsettia will thrive outdoors and continue to bring joy beyond the holiday season.
Potting and Soil Maintenance
Select a pot with drainage holes, as poinsettias prefer well-draining soil. Next, purchase new potting soil specifically formulated for indoor plants.
Gently remove the plant from its current pot and place it into the new, larger pot. Cover the plant’s roots with the new potting soil, ensuring the roots are completely submerged. Press down gently on the soil to remove any air pockets. Then, water the plant thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out of the pot.
For optimal growth, it’s a good idea to provide your poinsettia with proper soil maintenance. Use an all-purpose fertilizer throughout the year, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Regularly check the potting soil’s moisture; keep it consistently damp but not soaked.
A well-maintained plant will ensure a beautiful display for the next holiday season.
Fertilization and Watering Routine
Use a half-strength, water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks to support the development of healthy foliage and roots. Slowly reduce the frequency as summer approaches and stop fertilizing by the end of August.
Watering poinsettias is important to maintaining their health. When the surface of the soil feels dry, water the plant. Avoid over-watering, as it can cause root rot.
To monitor the moisture level, you can use your finger or a moisture meter.
During the growth period, check the plant’s progress regularly. When new shoots are about 6 inches long, pinch back the tips of each stem to encourage bushier growth.
Repeat this process as needed to create a well-rounded plant. Remember to be gentle while pinching, ensuring you don’t damage the plant.
Leading Up to the Next Holiday Season
Starting in early October, place your poinsettia in a dark location and expose it to complete, uninterrupted darkness for 14 hours each day. This can be done by placing the plant in a closet, or by covering it with a box or cloth. During the day, ensure it gets bright, indirect sunlight for about 10 hours.
Continue this regimen for about six weeks or until the plant’s bracts have turned red. Once the desired color is reached, resume normal care for the poinsettia, including regular watering, fertilizing, and keeping it in a brightly lit area.
This careful preparation will enhance the appearance of your poinsettia for the next holiday season and make it a gorgeous centerpiece for your Christmas celebrations.
Care for Poinsettias in Different Seasons
Springtime Care for Poinsettias
During early spring, continue to provide consistent water and fertilize your poinsettias. In late spring, prune the plant back to about 6-8 inches in height.
This encourages new growth and bushiness. Make sure the plant is placed in a well-lit spot and keep the soil damp but not overly wet.
Summertime Care for Poinsettias
In early summer, transfer the poinsettia outdoors. Give it a shady spot initially, then gradually move it to a sunnier location.
Throughout the summer, ensure consistent watering and provide balanced fertilizer every few weeks. By late summer, the plant should have dense foliage and can be pruned again to maintain shape.
Autumn Care for Poinsettias
As fall approaches, in early September, move the poinsettia back indoors to a well-lit space. Continue with regular watering and fertilizing, but reduce the frequency as the days get shorter.
To encourage the red bracts to form, ensure the plant receives 12-14 hours of darkness each day for 8-10 weeks, covering it with a box or cloth when needed.
Recognizing and Encouraging Bloom
Poinsettias are known for their vibrant and colorful blooms during the Christmas season. The key to encouraging these plants to bloom again is to properly care for them after the holidays.
Start by recognizing when the plant’s natural growth begins. Poinsettias usually develop yellow flowers and new leaf growth starting in early spring.
To encourage blooming, make sure your poinsettia receives proper care in terms of light, temperature, and watering.
Place the plant in a well-lit area with indirect sunlight, maintaining a temperature between 65-75°F during the day and around 60°F at night. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry, and avoid over-watering to prevent root rot.
Once the yellow flowers appear, prune the plant to promote bushy growth. Cut stems back to about six inches above the soil, leaving two to three leaves per stem. Continue providing proper care, and you will see your poinsettia re-bloom in time for the next Christmas season.
People Also ask
How long do poinsettias stay colorful?
Poinsettias usually stay colorful for a period of six to eight weeks, with proper care. If you maintain optimal conditions, such as placing the plants near a bright window, providing room temperatures between 65-70°F (18-21°C), and keeping them away from cold drafts, you can prolong their brightness. Make sure to water the poinsettias when the soil is dry, avoiding overwatering.
Can I keep poinsettias outdoors?
You can keep poinsettias outdoors if you live in a region with mild winters, as they are native to tropical climates. However, poinsettias are sensitive to frost and cold temperatures below 50°F (10°C). If you live in colder regions, it’s best to keep them indoors, near a bright window, and provide them with adequate humidity to thrive.
How to get poinsettias to rebloom?
Getting poinsettias to rebloom involves a more extended care process. The first step is to cut back the stems to about 4-6 inches in late winter or early spring.
Then, continue to water and feed the plant with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks. When the temperatures rise above 50°F (10°C), you can place the poinsettias in partial shade outdoors.
By late September or early October, the all-important dark period begins, where the plants must be kept in complete darkness for 12-14 hours each night, while receiving bright light during the day. This process should continue for about 8-10 weeks, and with proper care, your poinsettias should rebloom during the festive season.
When should I start the dark period for my poinsettia?
Begin the dark period for your poinsettia by late September or early October to ensure it blooms by Christmas. The plant needs 12-14 hours of complete darkness each night, uninterrupted, with bright light during the day. The dark period should last for approximately 8-10 weeks, which will help trigger the blooming process.
What steps to take when poinsettia leaves fall off?
When poinsettia leaves fall off, it usually indicates a problem with water, light, or temperature. To ensure your poinsettia thrives, maintain a consistent watering schedule, allowing the soil to dry before watering again.
Ensure adequate bright light, keeping the plant near a window but away from direct sunlight. Lastly, maintain the room temperature between 65-70°F (18-21°C) and avoid cold drafts. If you follow these steps, your poinsettia should recover, and its leaves should become healthy once again.