- Choose a plant with small tightly clustered yellow buds in the center
- Look for crisp, bright, undamaged foliage
- At home, water the plant when dry. Discard excess water in the saucer
- Place in a room with bright, natural light. Ideally, direct sunlight should fall on the foliage for 1 or more hours each day
- Keep out of drafts and away from appliances and radiators; do not put the plant on the television set
- After a few weeks, fertilize with ordinary house plant fertilizer
Make Your Plant Bloom Again
You can make that festive holiday spirit last all year. Coaxing your poinsettia to bloom again is a fun project when you tie it in with holidays during the calendar year.
Christmas—Select plants with tightly clustered, yellow buds. Protect them from hot or cold drafts, water when dry, and put them in a room with bright natural light.
New Years—Use an all-purpose house-plant fertilizer. Keep plants in a sunny window, water regularly, fertilize monthly. Plants will stay colorful for many weeks.
St. Patrick’s Day—Remove faded flowers and bracts and dried leaves from the plants. Add more soil, preferably a commercially available sterile mix.
Memorial Day—Your plant should be approaching 3 ft. tall. Trim off 2 to 6 inches of the branches to promote side branching. Repot to a larger container. Move the plant outside; first to indirect, then direct light.
4th of July—Trim the plant again. Make sure it has full sunlight. Slightly increase the amount of fertilizer.
Labor Day—Your plant may have grown to 5 ft. or more. It can be pruned to a height of 18-24 inches. Move it indoors but make sure it has 6 hours of direct sunlight from a curtain-free window. Continue regular water and fertilizer.
First Day of Autumn—Starting on or near September 21, give your plant 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 10 hours of bright sun each day. For example, put the plant in a light-free closet or under a box at 6 p.m. each afternoon and return it to a sunny window at 8 a.m. the next morning. Keep watering and fertilizing it. Rotate it each day to give all sides even light.
Halloween—Discontinue the day/night treatment. Keep the plant in a sunny area. Reduce fertilizer applications.
Christmas—Enjoy your “new” poinsettia!
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