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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Poinsettia Care

If you have a green thumb, you may want to try your hand at re-flowering your poinsettia this year. If you follow these directions very carefully, it is possible to have your poinsettia in bloom for Christmas.

Full bloom. Water as needed.

Color has faded. Cut stems back to about 8". Keep near sunny window and fertilize when new growth appears.

Repot if necessary. Be sure pot has drainage holes and is no more than 4" larger in diameter than original pot. Fertilize according to directions. Continue to water when dry to the touch. You may move plant outside under light shade if nighttime temperatures do not fall below 55 degrees.

Cut stems back, leaving 3 to 4 leaves per shoot. Water and fertilize as needed.

Poinsettias need at least 14 hours of darkness every day to trigger them to bloom. Ensure that the plant receives bright filtered sunlight from 8 am to 5 pm. Then place in dark (NO LIGHT) 5 pm to 8 am. Setting a box over the plant each evening or placing it in a dark room or closet every night can accomplish this. It is also important that nighttime temperatures are maintained between 60 and 70 degrees. Temperatures outside this range could delay flowering.

The key to success is to follow the strict light/dark instruction very carefully.

For more information on poinsettias...

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