But with that said, be sure to not allow the soil to stay too dry for too long. I'm sure someone (other than myself) will find this article very useful. When fall temperatures begin to drop, bring the plant indoors. Well, in about the 17th century, Christmas and the poinsettia plant coincided because of a legend. Poinsettia “blooms” are actually bracts, and not a flower at all. From about September through November light becomes crucial in poinsettia plant care. Poinsettia's might not be the first plant you think of when you're basking in the summer sun in your garden, but this is when your plant has the best chance to rebloom, in time to shine for it's second Christmas. Miraculously, the weeds sprouted red flowers which became poinsettias. Answer: Poinsettias are perennials so they will not bloom until the second year of growth. Carrying them unwrapped from the store to your car and home will result in the loss of leaves. There are over 100 varieties of poinsettias available in shades of red, pink, white, and yellow—solids, streaked, marbled, and multicolored. Once nights become longer in fall, bring the poinsettia indoors. Flowering actually begins after about two months of this short-day treatment, about a month before Christmas. The second factor that can affect the longevity of blooms is the amount of heat in the room. And, with good care, a poinsettia plant can maintain its beauty for much longer than the Christmas season. As mid-January and February roll around, even the best-kept poinsettia plants will begin to fade. As spring and warmer temperatures arrive, you can take the plants outside. From October 1 to December 1 (or for at least 40 days), a poinsettia will need a strict light/dark regimen to produce color. Start your seeds in the spring, but don't expect any flowers until the second Christmas after you plant them. For growing poinsettia plants during the summer, you can move your plant outdoors to a sunny location. When you purchase your plants during the cold holiday season, make sure that they are wrapped up well to prevent them from getting chilled. Thank you for your kind words and for commenting. A symbol of resurrection You will have to artificially create these conditions and it's crucial that you be diligent. If you are able, you can prolong the life of the colorful bracts by moving your plant into a cool room that 55⁰F to 60⁰F at night. This can be done once a month until the middle of August. Place Plants Inside. Commercial greenhouses achieve this using opaque shade cloths to cover their plants at night. Answer: Poinsettias are perennials so they will not bloom until the second year of growth. More than 2 million of them will be sold this year, making it the largest potted flower crop grown in the US. Today, tens of millions of poinsettias are sold during the Christmas season. But not to worry, we have you covered with today’s article! The color is created through the process of photoperiodism, meaning they require a specific number of hours of darkness each night to change from green to red or other colors. Plant it directly into your garden or Give it a good trimming, into a nice rounded shape. At the end of July, you should prune your plant again. Continue the biweekly fertilization schedule. But with just a bit of care, they can easily be kept from year to year. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. Don’t be alarmed, the plant may look quite pathetic at this point, but it will come back! Too little water will cause the leaves to drop. This article may contain affiliate links. Poinsettia plants grow best during the winter months, which is why they are the most popular potted plant during the holidays. In the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico began to use poinsettias as decorations for Christmas. Question: When should you start poinsettia seeds to have a plant for Christmas? For best results, place the box over your plant at 5 pm (or whenever you return from work) and leave it there until 8 am (or whenever you leave for work) every day until color begins to show in the bracts when you remove the box in the morning. Long before Christianity reached the western hemisphere, the Aztecs cultivated poinsettia plants for a variety of medicinal purposes. Nurseries use this feature to manipulate their flowering, producing poinsettias in bloom at virtually any time of the year. But keeping them healthy and strong all through the season can be a challenge for many. If left wrapped too long, the stems of the leaves and bracts will begin to droop. Question: Where can we get poinsetta plants that will bloom for December? As days shorten and nights get longer, poinsettias and many other autumn and winter-flowering plants are triggered to bloom. To achieve colour for Christmas in the southern hemisphere, plants are grown in light- and temperature-controlled glasshouses to trick them into thinking it’s winter, not summer. To get plants to bloom around the holiday season, they need to go through a 6 to 8 week period of darkness to force the blooms. Locating plants in a sunny windowsill will speed up their bloom time greatly. Question: When should you start poinsettia seeds to have a plant for Christmas? As with over-watering, under-watering will cause a plant to lose it bracts and color prematurely as well. Fertilize your plant using a soluble houseplant fertilizer as directed on the label. Allow your plants to dry out completely between waterings. First, let’s start with how to care for poinsettias during their “blooming” season. And to keep the bracts in tip-top shape all throughout the full holiday season, there are 3 simple keys to success. Poinsettias are shade lovers. Said star was the light that led the three wise men to the baby Jesus when he was born. They are native to Mexican forests. Poinsettia usually flowers in winter. Over-watering causes the most issues for poinsettia plants. If you want them in full bloom by Thanksgiving, start on October 1st and by Halloween for Christmas. And what a rigmarole! She has been associated with Rutgers Gardens for over a decade. But more on that later. Continue to keep your poinsettias in a place with plenty of light and water as directed above. Not only can overwatering lead to the yellowing of leaves, it can also rot away the root structure, killing the plant in the process. Poinsettias didn’t become a traditional holiday decoration until Paul Ecke, an American plant grower, grown them during the Christmas season. An angel appeared to her and told her to gather weeds from the roadside and place them at the altar of her church. The Poinsettia. Nevertheless, in spite of the effort involved, the reward is great. Water only when the soil feels dry. Do watch for shriveled brown stems, which are an indication that your lovely Christmas flower may be dying a slow death. Ideal air temperature is 60⁰F to 70⁰F.