To choose the perfect poinsettia:
- Pick a plant with small, tightly clustered buds in the center.
- Look for crisp, bright, undamaged foliage.
- Avoid plants displayed in drafty or crowded areas.
To keep the poinsettia blooming:
- When surface soil is dry to the touch, water thoroughly. Discard excess water in the saucer.
- To prolong color, keep a temperature range of 60 degrees for night and 72 degrees for day. High humidity is preferable.
- Place plant away from hot or cold drafts, and protect from cold winds.
To rebloom for the next season:
- During winter, continue to follow holiday upkeep tips.
- March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day): When bracts fade, cut stems back to eight inches above soil line.
- Continue to water regularly.
- Lightly fertilize with a good, balanced all-purpose fertilizer every three to four weeks.
- When temperatures are warm, place plant outdoors; first in indirect, then direct sunlight. Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees throughout the summer.
- July 4 (Independence Day): Cut back new growth stems. Repot if needed.
- Early September (Labor Day): Move plant inside. Provide six or more hours of direct light.
- October 1 through mid-December: Confine plant to complete darkness for 14 hours, giving it 10 hours of natural light daily. This will set the buds and cause bracts to color.