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Another Poinsettia Question

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by rozy221 on April 16, 2005 07:39 AM
...Must be the day for poinsettias, huh? Mine is still doing well, only lost 1 leaf in the last couple of months. But I noticed tonight that the white "flowers" are taking on a greenish hue-does this mean the beginning of the end for it? I've been so happy with it still doing well. I have it in a north window, where some bushes were recently removed, but it still doesn't really get any direct sun. I was hoping to at least make Memorial Day with it. Any suggestions?
by obywan59 on April 16, 2005 10:51 AM
I'd say you've done pretty darn good with it! Mine has already lost all it's flowers. I think I overwatered it. I'll try planting it outside though in a few weeks.

I did that last year, but pretty much let that poinsettia fend for itself which it did, all puny-like--just sat there and sulked all summer.

* * * *

May the force be with you
by TomR on April 23, 2005 03:49 PM
Sounds like you did just fine with it. I cut mine (a red one) back half way a few weeks ago and it's new leaves are growing very nicely.


* * * *
My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
by DV cactus man on May 02, 2005 05:01 AM
I have a poinsettia in my bay window and all it's leaves fell stems grew already on it and the new leaves turned a dark green, but some of the old stems are brown (no new sprouted stems etc.) should i cut them off? or cut them back to the green part of the dead stem? /=
by rozy221 on May 02, 2005 06:46 AM
I think you're supposed to cut the brown stems back to the green growth. Mine is still in full bloom, and I wonder if I don't cut it back soon, if it will flower in time next year. That's OK-I'm going for a record with this thing-we're almost at Memorial day-I got it before Thanksgiving-wonder if we can make it to Independence Day? That might be pushing it, but I've only lost a total of maybe 5 "flowers" and no leaves so far.....Hope I'm nut cursing myself....better keep quiet!
by DV cactus man on May 02, 2005 06:03 PM
Lol..I don't even care if the flowers fall off, I just care about keeping it's rare to find a poinsettia plant alive from next year (well anyone I know) It's about 60 degrees here..I'm going to put it outside today.
by rozy221 on May 04, 2005 05:16 AM
Oh no!!!! Stop!!!! I wouldn't put it outside just yet (I'm next door in Southern CT)-I think someone here from Louisiana has some as a perennial, so those are the conditions that we need to wait for. Here is something Will Creed sent a while back:

Poinsettia Care
Blooming poinsettias are available starting about Thanksgiving in many sizes, shapes and colors (red, white, pink). Most will hold on to their colorful bracts through the end of the year and even beyond if they are given good care.

Light: Poinsettias do best in a window with lots of indirect light. If you canít provide enough light, the poinsettia will not last quite as long. If kept in a very dim location, the poinsettia may only last a few weeks. So try to provide as much light as possible to extend the life of the flowers.

Water: Poinsettias do not like to dry out. Try to keep the soil slightly damp to the touch at all times. Plants getting lots of light and/or kept in a warm location will need more frequent watering than those in low light, cool locations. Check your poinsettia at least twice per week to make sure it does not dry out.

Temperature: Poinsettias are sensitive to temperatures below 65 degrees. So avoid cold, drafty windowsills. On the other hand, close proximity to heat sources will cause poinsettias to dry out quickly, thereby hastening their demise. Comfortable ďpeople temperaturesĒ are good for poinsettias too.

Plant food and Misting: Donít bother with either of these. They donít help.

Bloom Time: How long will a poinsettia stay in bloom? It depends on all of the factors mentioned above. A quality plant in the right location that is well cared for can stay in bloom for up to six months. But that is unusual. Most poinsettias will last for 4 to 6 weeks before the colorful flowers (technically known as bracts) begin to fall off.

Post-Holiday Care of Poinsettias: When the flowers fade and the plant no longer looks attractive, you can discard the plant or you can test your green thumb by doing the following:

1. Cut the stems back to just above the point where new (green) growth is emerging. This usually means cutting off one-half to two-thirds of the stems. It may look ugly for a few weeks until the new growth has filled out.

2. Move the poinsettia to a sunny windowsill.

3. Do not repot the poinsettia.

4. Water and fertilize the poinsettia regularly. Do not let it get dried out. Avoid temperature extremes and cold drafts.

If you do all of the above you will be rewarded with a full, nicely shaped, green-leafed poinsettia. Keep up this regimen through the winter, spring and summer. If you want your poinsettia to re-bloom, you will have to start preparing your poinsettia in the fall.

How to Get Your Poinsettia to Re-bloom: Itís not complicated, but itís not easy either. Beginning in late September, you must provide your poinsettia with 12 hours of complete darkness each night and 12 hours of good light during the day. Even a small amount of light from a light bulb for a short time at night can disrupt the formation of the new flowers. In addition, night temps should drop to 63 degrees. You must maintain this regimen for about eight weeks, by moving your poinsettia to a completely dark and cool place every night and back to the sunny windowsill each day. Once the colorful leaves called bracts are well established (usually about eight weeks), you can stop schlepping it to a dark place every night and leave it where it can be enjoyed. This is a lot of work. Most people prefer to purchase a new poinsettia each holiday season.

Good Luck! [wayey]

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