Monday, December 17, 2007

Caring for Poinsettias and Making Them Re bloom

Here is another great article by my good friend Mike I would like to share.

Caring for Poinsettias and Making Them Re bloom

Poinsettias, a bright and cheerful symbol of the holiday
season, are often thought of as "throwaway" plants to be
set on the curb when their red blooms fade. Rather than
buying a new plant each December, with proper care you can
keep your poinsettias blooming for another holiday season.

Poinsettia plants enjoy indirect sunlight for at least six
hours each day while they are blooming. They prefer to be
slightly on the dry side and will not be happy if they are
overwatered. While the plant is flowering it should not be
fertilized, but after the plant has finished blooming an all-
purpose fertilizer may be applied..

To enjoy your poinsettia blooms for another holiday season,
it should be cut back to about 8 inches in late March or early
April. It can be fertilized about once a month, and by late
May new growth will begin to appear.

Once there is no more danger of frost and nighttime temperatures
stay above 55 degrees F, your poinsettia may be kept outdoors
for the summer. Fertilizing can be done every 2-3 weeks during
the summer, and the plant can be pruned to keep it full and
compact. In warm climates a poinsettia may be planted directly
in the garden but in cooler climates it is best to transplant
your poinsettia into a pot that is just slightly larger than
its original pot. This can be done in early June. Be sure to
use a well-draining potting soil.

As temperatures begin to cool in late summer, the plant should
again be brought indoors. Longer nights will cause poinsettias
to set buds and produce flowers during November or December.
To encourage your poinsettia to bloom for the Christmas holiday,
you must carefully control the amount of light the plant receives.

To bloom for Christmas, the plant must be kept in total darkness
for 14 hours each night during October, November and early
December, along with 6-8 hours of bright sunlight. This can be
accomplished by moving the poinsettia to a dark closet each
night, making sure that no light sneaks beneath the door. Or
simply cover the plant with a large box each night. No peeking!
Any stray light will upset the schedule.

During October, November and early December the plant needs 6-8
hours of bright sunlight along with 14 hours of total darkness.
The ideal temperature for your poinsettia is between 60 and 70
degrees. Warmer or cooler temperatures can also delay flowering.
Continue fertilizing monthly until the blossoms appear.

Follow this schedule of daylight and darkness for 8-10 weeks and
your poinsettia will reward you with a colorful holiday display!

(more personal stuff about Mike and Pam)

Have a great week!
-Mike McGroarty

P.S. The message board is here:

McGroarty Enterprises Inc.
P.O. Box 338
Perry, Ohio 44081


Anonymous said...

Very interesting. My grandma always kept her poinsettias alive and they bloomed again for her year after year, and I've never been able to replicate what she did. These are instructions that I can follow.

steven wilson said...

Hi Chris
You should be able to keep your grandmothers tradition going just fine by following Mike's instructions.
I wish you the best of luck.

waliz said...

merry xmas n happy new year to u..steven

steven wilson said...

Hi Waliz
Merry Christmas,and a Happy New Year to you as well.

It is a pleasure having you as a loyal reader here at granny's.