Sunday, January 2, 2011

Caring for Your Poinsettia

Many of us received poinsettias at Christmas and would like to keep them thriving so we can watch them bloom again next Christmas season. In The New Fred Wiche Lawn & Garden Almanac, my favorite gardening expert, sadly now deceased, gives some pointers.

Place the poinsettia in a sunny, cool location and water when the soil dries out. It should bloom at least until February. Around mid-March prune the stems from 3 to 6 inches to remove the colored bracts and fertilize. When the weather is warm, move outdoors. Late next September begin to alternate 9 hours of bright light and 15 hours of complete darkness to induce blooming. Continue this until early October. You can place a paper bag over the plant or you can place the plant in a closet. Either way, it must be in total darkness. Even a slight amount of light during the 15 hours can prevent success. Conversely, it must have the bright light for 9 hours.

It usually takes 8 to 10 weeks for the bracts to show red. Then place the poinsettia in a cool place with indirect light and it should bloom again for many weeks.

                                                                                                                     ~ Laura

No comments:

Post a Comment