Poinsettias make beautiful displays during the Christmas season. As potted plants, they can last for much longer than just the holidays, with proper care. It doesn’t take much to keep them living longer. While there are different varieties, most require the same basic care.
Provide It with Light
After you’re done using the poinsettia in dimmer locations, bring it into the light, such as on a windowsill. Remove the outer paper from them and water them well. You don’t need to re-pot them at this point. They should do well with just this basic level of care through February.
Trim Them Down
After you notice the color fading from the plant – usually around February – that’s when they need a bit more attention. Trim the plant down to about four inches from the soil. It will look like just a few twigs sticking up in the dirt. About two weeks later, you’ll see new growth coming up. Keep them watered throughout this phase.
Wait for the Color
By bringing them inside, or away from the direct sunlight of a windowsill, you’ll see they are able to start building up their vibrant color again. Generally, you don’t want the plant to display its color during most of the year. Rather, you want it to just remain green and growing. When you bring it inside, you’ll get it out of the sun so it can work towards building up for that bright color display again. Give it about 16 hours of total darkness, for up to 10 weeks at a time, to allow for the blooming of the bright, red flowers to occur right before the holidays.
You can continue to care for the poinsettia like this on an ongoing basis. Their bright colors tend to occur just one time a year if well-cared for during that period.
During the next few months, you’ll see the poinsettia growing but not necessarily blooming. Around August 1st, you’ll want to do the same thing – trim them back. You also should bring them indoors if they are outside, around Labor Day.