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Care for Poinsettias So You Have Beautiful Blooms All Season Long

How do I pick a poinsettia?

First, look for poinsettias with stiff stems that support bright, buoyant leaves on top and healthy green leaves at the base. You also want to see bright yellow centers on poinsettias. The colored parts of the plant are modified leaves called bracts, and the tiny yellow flowers in the center are called cyathia. You want lots of bright yellow cyathia, but if they’re already open, it means the plant is less fresh; look for one with tight buds. Also, pull back the plastic sleeve and inspect the whole plant. Avoid those with wilted or yellow leaves, which will not grow back by the holiday.

What temperature can poinsettias live in?

You’ll definitely want to protect your poinsettia from the cold. If it’s colder than the 50s when you buy your poinsettia, wrap it up as you transport it home, and don’t leave it in the car while you run errands. Then, it’s your best bet to keep this Christmas flower indoors.

How do you care for a poinsettia?

Once you get it home, pull your poinsettia out of the protective plastic sleeve and foil pot cover. Drop it into a decorative pot, or poke holes in the foil cover for drainage and put a saucer underneath to catch excess water. But don’t let it sit in water—no plant likes wet feet! Check the pot every five to seven days, but water only when the soil surface is dry to the touch, says Siemonsma.

In terms of placement, indirect sunlight keeps poinsettias happy. Similarly, you don’t want to place your plant near heaters and fireplaces. Poinsettias can thrive as green plants year-round; prune and fertilize yours and it could rebloom next Christmas!

However, you might not plan to keep it as a longterm houseplant plant. Maybe you just want to enjoy and discard it after the season passes! If that’s the case, there’s no need to fertilize or worry so much about light levels.

How do you get a poinsettia to rebloom?

If you’re up for a challenge, you can try to get a poinsettia to bloom again.

“Poinsettias are photoperiodic, which means they need long nights and short days to initiate flowers,” says Siemonsma. If you’re willing to give it a shot, let it dry out a little after the holidays. The plant will drop leaves and go into a resting period. In March or April, plant it in a pot one size up; that is, if it’s in a 6-inch container, transfer to an 8-inch one. Make sure the pot has drainage holes. Use regular or succulent potting soil, cut the poinsettia back by 2/3 of its size, and place in a south or east-facing window. After the danger of frost has passed, put it outdoors.

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