How to Make a Poinsettia Bloom Again

Wondering how to make a poinsettia bloom? Check out these gardening tips from our expert.

How to Make a Poinsettia Bloom Again

How To Make Your Poinsettia Bloom Again

Getting poinsettias to rebloom requires year-round care.

Kathleen Ray

Greenhouse Grower Kathleen Ray

Kathleen Ray, the fifth generation to work in a greenhouse, has a passion for poinsettias.

How to Make a Poinsettia Bloom AgainKathleen Ray

 

This time of year, everything’s coming up poinsettias for Kathleen Ray of Mills River, North Carolina. “I love looking at the ocean of red that fills our greenhouses when the poinsettias are at their peak,” says Kathleen, accountant for Van Wingerden International (natures-heritage.com).

She is the fifth generation of her family working in a greenhouse company that produces close to a million of the Christmas plants annually in 30 festive varieties of pink, cream, white, cinnamon, peppermint, marbled and more. “Plus, we have 13 shades of red—hands down our most popular color,” she adds.

Christmas kicks off for the seasoned growers in March, “when we start the mother plants, which we get from Guatemala and El Salvador, where poinsettias are native,” she says.

By mid-November, the poinsettias are flying out the door, shipping to florists, garden centers, discount stores and other wholesalers. And after a deep breath, Kathleen says, “we start planting our spring annuals and tending to our Easter lilies.”

How to Make a Poinsettia Bloom Again:
Through winter: Water thoroughly when the surface soil is dry to the touch. Discard excess water in the saucer. To prolong color, keep temperatures at around 60 degrees at night and 72 degrees during the day. Place away from hot or cold drafts.
St. Patrick’s Day: When bracts (the plant’s modified leaves) fade, cut stems back to 8 in. above soil line. Continue to water regularly. Lightly fertilize with a balanced all-purpose fertilizer every three to four weeks.
When temperatures warm: Place the plant outdoors, first in indirect, then direct sunlight. Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees throughout the summer.
Fourth of July: Cut back new growth stems. Repot if needed.
Labor Day: Move the plant inside. Provide it with six or more hours of direct light.
Oct. 1 to mid-December: Confine the plant to total darkness for 14 hours, giving it 10 hours of natural light daily. This will set the buds and cause the bracts to color up.

Photography by Joe Bester.

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