Poinsettia, Making It Rebloom
Poinsettia’s can be grown year after year, but they need some special treatment to ensure that they’ll bloom properly:
1. When leaves begin to drop, let dry slightly between waterings.
2. In late spring (early May) cut back plant to 6”, shake free of soil and repot in new potting soil, then resume regular watering (Let plant become slightly dry, then water). Fertilize with 30-10-10 twice monthly. Stop fertilizing Nov. 1st until Dec. 30th.
3. Place outdoors in a warm, sunny location (minimum 60 degrees).
4. Pinch tips of new shoots when 6-8” long and again in late July (Can be cut back to 5 – 6” at this time). Continue to fertilize every two weeks.
5. Bring indoors before cold nights (early September) and place indoors in full sun (East, West or South exposure). 3-6 hours of direct sun needed.
6. In order for poinsettias to bloom, they must have 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day for 40 days (late Sept. through Oct.). Place in dark place (such as closet) or cover with polythene bag from early evening (sunset) and remove next morning (sunrise) so that the plant is kept in total darkness. Continue daily for 8 weeks, and then treat normally.
7. When step #6 is followed your Poinsettia will bloom at Christmas time, but remember: It only takes 10 minutes of artificial light each day and your plant won’t bloom until January or February.