Buying a Poinsettia This Holiday? 5 Care Tips to Encourage a Rebloom

3 min

From the traditional red to the beautiful white or pink variants, poinsettias (or Euphorbia pulcherrima) are a holiday staple in the United States. You will find these plants on display at florists, garden centers, even grocery stores during the winter months. 

Aside from Christmas trees, poinsettia is the most popular plant during the holiday season. But, unlike your Christmas trees, poinsettias can bloom well into February if they are adequately cared for. Though proper care can be tricky, these leafy flowering plants can also be coaxed into reblooming each year. 

Mistakes to avoid when caring for your poinsettia

The most essential step in getting your poinsettia to rebloom? Don’t kill it while it is still flowering. There are some mistakes you will want to avoid if you’re planning on keeping your poinsettia around next year. 

Don’t water too much or too little

Like most plants, poinsettias can get too much or too little water. You want to wait until the soil feels dry to the touch before watering your plant. Then, you will want to water until the excess drains from the bottom of the pot. 

So, you will need to use a pot that has drainage. Fabric pots from providers like these are an excellent out-of-the-box choice for improving drainage and encouraging a healthy root environment. If your planter doesn’t drain properly, you risk exposing your plant to root rot as excess moisture encourages fungus. 

If you aren’t watering properly, the poinsettia leaves will begin to wilt and yellow, and the roots will start to rot. 

Avoid extreme temperatures

Despite their popularity during the cold winter months, poinsettias are tropical plants. Native to Mexico and South America, these plants prefer to live between sixty and seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. 

You don’t want to freeze the plant out, but you also don’t want to overheat it. The cold outdoor temperatures in the winter months will kill poinsettia plants, which is why you will see them displayed indoors during the holiday months. 

In addition to keeping the indoor temperature to its liking, you will want to keep your poinsettia away from cold drafts, active heat vents, fireplaces, or radiators. 

Avoid direct sunlight

Unsurprisingly, you will need to ensure that your poinsettia gets the preferred amount of sunlight each day. With poinsettias, though, you will want to avoid direct sunlight. 

These plants prefer about six to eight hours of indirect sunlight each day. You will also want to ensure that your plant receives the right amount of darkness. 

Now that you know the basics of caring for a house plant like a poinsettia, here are five care tips explicitly aimed at encouraging a rebloom.

Five care tips to help your poinsettia rebloom

Your poinsettia can easily outlast your fresh-cut Christmas tree this holiday season. There are ways to care for your Christmas tree to keep it fresh throughout the holiday, though. Still, you will never get your tree to rebloom the way you can your poinsettia. 

Poinsettias can be finicky, so some of your typical indoor gardening tips may not apply here. It takes the proper care to coax that beautiful poinsettia into making an appearance next holiday season. 

Prune your poinsettia

Once the poinsettia’s bracts (the leaflike structures that are often confused for the plant’s petals) have fallen off for the season, you will want to prune the plant. 

Prune each stem back to only four to six inches tall. Make sure that each branch still contains one to three leaves, as this will encourage new growth. 

You will want to wait until the outside temperatures start staying warmer throughout the day before pruning the plant back. 

Fertilize your poinsettia

You don’t want to fertilize your poinsettia plant while it is still in bloom. However, once the months get warmer, typically around May to June, you will want to begin fertilizing your plant if you are hoping for it to rebloom next year. 

Wait until new growth shows and new shoots begin to emerge before you start fertilizing. Then, you will want to fertilize every two weeks. 

Repot your poinsettia

You will want to replant your poinsettia into a slightly larger container during the warmer months, preferably early summer. This repotting should happen after you have already pruned the plant back. 

Once you have repotted the plant, you will want to water it until the excess drains out the bottom. 

Expose your poinsettia to fresh air

The poinsettia may be an indoor plant, but exposing it to fresh air can do it some good during the summer months. Once the temperatures remain warm throughout the day and night, you can move your poinsettia outside if you’d like. 

Fresh air is not necessary for regrowth, but it is recommended. Remember that poinsettias prefer indirect sunlight, so the placement of your plant will matter. 

Pinch your poinsettia

During the summer months, you want to pinch the tip off of each of the poinsettia’s stems to promote side branching. This pinching is best done in July and again in August. You do not want to trim after September. 

In summary

Following these tips should encourage your poinsettia to thrive for weeks to come. Good luck, and may your poinsettias rebloom each holiday season.

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