Still have Poinsettias Scattered?

So the holidays are over and you still have your Poinsettias scattered even the the Clauses’ have returned to the Pole. So what to do you ask. After a crazy holiday season we can understand why you would toss them along with the tree and tinsel BUT, we encourage you to keep them, enjoy them for years to come. Here are a few tips and tricks in accomplishing that goal.

Poinsettias are easy to maintain, but it takes some effort to make them bloom a second time. To grow them after the holidays, all you need to do is treat them similar to other houseplants: Give them bright light, allow them to slightly dry between waterings, and feed them with a liquid houseplant fertilizer according to label directions. That’s the easy part. The bracts (those are the leaves that look like flower petals) will eventually fade and fall off the plant. At that point, cut back the stems to just below the flowers and let them continue to grow. Getting the plants to rebloom is the hard part. It’s likely that you won’t be able to bring all 10 plants into flower again, simply because of space limitations. In spring, once nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50*F, place your poinsettias outside where they’ll receive bright, indirect light. They will grow but will remain completely green all summer. Prune back the plants by one-half to one-third in midsummer, and repot them in the same pot, or in one that’s slightly larger if the plant has grown significantly. Use a commercial potting soil. Feed the plants with a standard houseplant fertilizer during this time of new growth. Bring the pots indoors before nighttime temperatures fall below 50*F. From September 21 through the end of October, the plants need 14-15 hours of uninterrupted darkness daily, and nighttime temperatures around 65*F. This is the secret to triggering new flowers to form and for the bracts to change color. This means that every day at about 5 p.m. you’ll need to cover the plants. Uncover them between 7 and 8 the following morning.  www.insideplants.net

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