Poinsettia Care

Maximum light during winter or at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Soil should be allowed to dry slightly between thorough waterings. Water should be at room temperature. Do not allow plants to sit in water.

Keep plant in a warm, draft-free position. Night temperatures of 60-65ºF and day temperatures of 68ºF or higher are ideal.

Mist leaves regularly or set pots on a saucer of gravel filled with water (make sure the bottom of the pot is sitting on the gravel above the water line).

There is no need to fertilize during the (winter) flowering period.

Loss of leaves can be due to very low or very high temperatures, underwatering or overwatering. Poor lighting can also cause premature leaf drop.

Cut back plants to 4 to 6 inches in late spring (May), after flowering. Repot in fresh potting soil.They can be grown outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Fertilize every two weeks with a liquid all-purpose fertilizer. Water your plants frequently during the summer months and protect from hot summer sun. Pinch off new tips until mid-August or start new cuttings in July or August. You should leave 4 to 5 strong new stems to grow.

Light control begins when outdoor night temperatures dip below 60ºF. Move your poinsettia indoors in September. Provide bright light indoors for 8 to 11 hours daily and provide complete uninterrupted darkness for 13 to 16 hours daily until mid-November or December, at which time the bracts should show color. Poinsettias need 40 of these "short days" to initiate flowering. Make sure temperatures and light control are carefully monitored.