How to Care for Poinsettias: Maintenance Tips for Re-Blooming Success


Poinsettias are a popular holiday plant that can bring color and cheer to any space. They have a long history, dating back to the past, when they were used in religious ceremonies by the Aztecs. Nowadays, poinsettias are commonly found in many households during the holidays.

Caring for poinsettias is not just a simple task. To keep them alive and thriving, it’s important to provide the right conditions. Poinsettias prefer a spot with good, bright light, preferably near a window. However, be sure to protect them from drafts, as they don’t do well with cold air. Keep the temperature around them consistent, between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering poinsettias can be a bit tricky. They don’t like to be watered too much, as their roots can easily rot. On the other hand, letting them wilt is not good either. A good tip is to water the plant whenever the soil feels dry to the touch. Remember to drain any excess water from the pot, as poinsettias don’t like standing water.

If you want your poinsettia to bloom again next year, you’ll need to provide it with the right conditions. Starting in mid-December, give your poinsettia 14 hours of complete darkness each night, and 10 hours of bright light during the day. This short-day treatment will encourage the plant to produce colorful blooms once again in the spring.

During the blooming period, it’s important to give your poinsettia some extra attention. Watch out for any yellow or dropping leaves, as it may be a sign of overwatering or a drafty spot. Also, be careful with any fertilizers you use, as poinsettias are sensitive to them. Instead, focus on maintaining a consistent watering schedule and keeping the plant in a warm, draft-free position.

In conclusion, poinsettias are beautiful and vibrant plants that can add a festive touch to your home during the holidays. With proper care and maintenance, you can ensure that your poinsettia stays alive and blooming for years to come. By following these dos and don’ts, you can enjoy the beauty of poinsettias beyond the holiday season.

How To Keep Poinsettias Alive For Next Christmas

Poinsettias are beautiful plants that can brighten up any home during the holiday season. If you want to enjoy their vibrant blooms again next Christmas, here are some tips to keep them alive and thriving:

Placement: Poinsettias need bright, indirect sunlight, preferably in the center of a room. Avoid placing them directly near windows, as the cold drafts can harm the plant.

Watering: Keep your poinsettias well-watered, but make sure not to overwater them. It’s best to water the plant thoroughly and let any excess water drain out of the base.

Temperature: Poinsettias are sensitive to temperature changes. They thrive in temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night. Avoid exposing them to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or sudden temperature fluctuations.

Light: Poinsettias need a period of darkness to bloom, so make sure to keep them away from any source of light during the evening hours. Even small amounts of light can delay blooming or prevent it altogether.

Frost Protection: Poinsettias are susceptible to frost damage, so if you plan to keep them outdoors, make sure to bring them indoors before the first frost in your area. If you need to transport them in the cold, protect them by covering them with a light-proof bag or wrapping them in newspaper.

Pruning: After the holiday season, poinsettias may start to look leggy or lose their leaves. To keep them compact and bushy, you can prune them back to about 6 inches from the base. Do this before mid-December to allow enough time for new growth and blooms.

Re-Blooming: If you want your poinsettias to bloom again for the next Christmas, you need to give them a period of darkness. Starting in mid-April, gradually reduce the amount of light they receive each day. Keep them in a dark location for 14-16 hours overnight and provide bright light for the remaining 8-10 hours. Repeat this cycle until mid-December, and your poinsettias should start blooming again.

Outdoor Care: While poinsettias are typically used as indoor plants, they can be planted outdoors in a well-drained area with partial shade. However, be aware that the red leaves of poinsettias are toxic if ingested, so keep them away from children and pets.

By following these tips, you can keep your poinsettias alive and healthy, and look forward to enjoying their beautiful blooms again next Christmas.

How to have your poinsettia flower again

Re-blooming a poinsettia requires proper care and maintenance. If you want your poinsettia to flower again the following year, you must follow a plan. Here are some tips to help you keep your poinsettia healthy and encourage it to bloom.

1. Purchase a healthy plant: When choosing a poinsettia, look for a well-branched plant with dark green foliage. Make sure there are no fallen leaves or insects on the plant. Avoid buying poinsettias that have been dyed.

2. Find the right spot: Poinsettias prefer a well-lit spot, preferably near a windowpane. Make sure the plant is not exposed to cold drafts or high temps, as they can damage the plant.

3. Proper watering: Water your poinsettia when the soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rot. Make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent water accumulation.

4. Maintain a regular watering schedule: Poinsettias are sensitive to changes in their watering routine. Try to water them at the same time every day to keep their moisture level consistent.

5. Keep it warm: Poinsettias prefer temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid exposing them to freezing temps or placing them near cold windows or doors.

6. Check for pests: Keep an eye out for common pests like whiteflies. If your plant shows signs of infestation, take appropriate measures to eliminate the pests. It is important to choose the least toxic insecticide to prevent ingestion or harm to humans and pets.

7. Prune selectively: To encourage a bushier plant, prune your poinsettia in the late spring. Cut back the stems to about 6 inches (15 cm) from the soil level. This will create new growth and more flowering stems.

8. Gradually decrease daylight: Poinsettias require long periods of darkness to initiate blooming. About 10 weeks before you want your plant to flower again, gradually reduce the amount of direct sunlight it receives. Plan to leave your poinsettia in a dark location for 14-16 hours a day.

9. Check for light leaks: To ensure your poinsettia receives the necessary darkness, check for any light leaks. Cover the plant with a light-proof cover or move it to a dark room during the dark period.

Follow these steps, and you may be able to enjoy your poinsettia’s vibrant blooms again next Christmas. Re-blooming a poinsettia takes planning and care, but with the proper maintenance, you can have a beautiful and healthy plant year after year.

Caring for your poinsettia in the spring and summer

After enjoying your poinsettia throughout the Christmas season, you may be wondering how to care for it in the spring and summer months. With the right practices, you can ensure that your poinsettia thrives and continues to bring color to your space.

In the spring, it’s important to provide uninterrupted care for your poinsettia. Keep it in the same pot and protect it from drafts and extreme temperatures. Remember that poinsettias are toxic to pets, so make sure to keep it out of their reach.

If your poinsettia was brought indoors during the winter months, it may have been placed in a light-proof bag to induce blooming. In this case, gradually reintroduce your poinsettia to natural light by placing it in a bright spot for a few hours each day. Be sure to monitor its watering needs as well, providing adequate drainage and watering when the top inch of soil feels dry.

In terms of maintenance, offering your poinsettia a balanced fertilizer every two weeks will help it stay healthy and encourage new growth. During the summer months, it’s also a good practice to pinch back the plant to encourage branching and fullness. This will result in a more compact and attractive poinsettia when it blooms again in the winter months.

Whitefly infestation can be a common problem for poinsettias, especially when they are placed outdoors. To prevent this, daily inspect the leaves for pests and take necessary action, such as spraying with insecticidal soap or hosing down the plant. Pruning any yellow or damaged leaves can also help reduce the whitefly population.

Remember that poinsettias prefer a humid environment, so misting the leaves with water can help create the right conditions for the plant. Additionally, be mindful of the pot size, as poinsettias can become earth-bound if they are not repotted when needed.

If you live in a region where temperatures drop significantly at night, consider bringing your poinsettia indoors, especially in early spring and late summer. This will protect it from any sudden temperature changes that could damage the plant.

Overall, caring for your poinsettia in the spring and summer requires attention to detail and adherence to best practices. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your poinsettia continues to thrive and bring joy with its vibrant blooms year after year.

How long does flowering last

Poinsettias are known for their beautiful and vibrant floral displays, which add a festive touch to any home during the holiday season. While they are not necessarily difficult to care for, keeping the plant blooming can sometimes be a challenge.

In order to prolong the flowering period, you should first make sure to find a good spot for your poinsettias. They prefer a well-lit area, away from drafts and extreme temperatures. It is important to keep them away from any sudden temperature drops, as even a tiny frost can damage the delicate floral display. Agricultural experts recommend temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and a slightly cooler setting at night.

Next, it is crucial to provide proper care and maintenance for your poinsettias. Keep the plant watered, but be careful not to overwater. Make sure the pot has good drainage and water it enough to keep the soil moist, but avoid soggy conditions. A good rule of thumb is to water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Also, avoid letting the plant stand in water for extended periods of time, as this can lead to root rot.

In order to encourage re-blooming, you may need to prune the poinsettias. The best time to do this is in early April, when the plant begins to transition out of its holiday state. You should cut back the stems to about 4-6 inches above the soil level. This will help the plant focus its energy on new growth and develop a bushy, compact shape.

One crucial factor in prolonging the flowering period is darkness. Poinsettias are short-day plants, which means they require long periods of darkness in order to re-bloom. Starting in mid-October, you should keep your poinsettias in complete darkness for about 14-16 hours every night. A light-proof cover is essential during this dark period, as any exposure to light can disrupt the re-blooming process.

With proper care and maintenance, you can expect your poinsettias to last for several weeks in full bloom. However, the length of the flowering period can vary depending on several factors, such as the health of the plant, environmental conditions, and the specific variety of poinsettia. On average, poinsettias can keep their vibrant display for about 4-6 weeks, making them a beautiful addition to your home during the holiday season.

In case you find it challenging to get your poinsettias to re-bloom, don’t worry! Poinsettias are widely available in nurseries and garden centers, and many stores also start offering them in the fall. So, if all else fails, you can always buy a new poinsettia and enjoy its festive beauty without the hassle of re-blooming maintenance.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.