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How to Get Your Poinsettia to Rebloom

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Do you throw out your Poinsettia after Christmas?  Have you ever purchased one that you thought was amazing and wished you could have it for next year?  Well you can!!  With a little planning and just a touch of work, you can get it to bloom for you every year for the Holidays!

When the holidays are over, continue to grow it as a houseplant.  Keep it moist and in bright light until early spring (about February or March) when you should cut back each of the flowering stems to about 5" above soil level to help promote new growth and bushiness.

Around May, repot if needed in a pot that is just a little larger than the original one.  Continue to keep moist, and keep in bright light until there is no longer danger of frost and night temperatures don't drop below 60ºF.  At this time, bury the container in your garden in a place that gets only morning sun.  More shade is fine as well.  throughout summer, watch to see if turning the pot is needed to keep the poinsettia well shaped and to prevent leaning.  You can also pinch out the top 1/4 of the healthy branches to encourage a bushier plant with more flowers every month or so.  Be sure to always leave about 3 large leaves on the stem of the plant you have pinched.  This can be done until mid August when the plant should be left to grow for the Holiday season. Water as normal and fertilize every 2 weeks with fertilizer (20-20-20).

When night temperatures drop to 60ºF, lift the container and soak the plant and soil with water being sure to remove any pests.  Bring your poinsettia indoors and place it back into the sunny location but start reducing the fertilization.

Poinsettias flowering is "photoperiodically" induced, which just means that the flowering is affected by the amount of light the plant receives during our changing seasons.  When nights get long, the plant begins to produce flowers.

Any kind of light can prevent flowering, even a kitchen light or street light. It you keep the plant in a room that gets some light at night, cover it at around 5pm at night with a heavy paper bag or place it in a dark closet. Be sure to give it light during the day. They need periods of at least 12 hours of darkness for flowers to set, so when you begin to see flower formation in late September or early October, be certain to give it darkness or the flower buds could quickly drop. Keep it in complete darkness from 5pm to 8am from the end of September until Dec 15 for best chance of flowers that stay healthy without dropping. When you can see the flowers developing and the bracts starting to show color, it is not as important to continue giving the dark period, but it is advisable to continue until the bracts are almost fully expanded.

Try to keep temperatures between 55 and 70ºF at night. Higher temperatures can cause a delay in the blooming.

Hope you have a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy Poinsettia!

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