What You Need To Know To Keep Poinsettia Alive

Updated: Jun 17

So, you received a Poinsettia for Christmas... What now?

Like any plant, Poinsettia requires a care routine in order to stay alive. Healthy Poinsettias will have better blooms and will generally last longer. The following are some of the most important things you need to know to keep your Poinsettia alive and healthy so that it can rebloom after Christmas time.

1. Give Your Poinsettia Plenty Of Light During The Day

Poinsettia needs plenty of indirect light during the day, so it's best to place it near a window that gets sunshine in the morning and early afternoon. Keep the plant away from direct sunlight to avoid the color fading.


In the afternoon, Poinsettia needs a break from light, so look for a window that will be in the shade during this time of the day.


Generally, your Poinsettia will need to receive light at least for six hours a day. The plant will let you know if it's not getting enough sun: the leaves will hang limp and lean toward the light source. However, it's important not to expose it to too much light, as this can burn the leaves.



2. Water Your Poinsettia Whenever The Soil Feels Dry

Poinsettia requires regular watering, and the best way to figure out whether or not they need extra water is to keep an eye on the soil.


When the soil feels dry, or just about dry, it’s time to give your Poinsettia more water. As with any plant, you’ll need to make sure the pot of your plant has drainage holes. Drainage holes will help prevent overwatering, which comes with its own set of issues.



3. Keep An Eye On Your Poinsettia's Leaves

When it comes to monitoring the health of your Poinsettia, the best thing you can do is checking on its leaves regularly.


Leaves are often the first thing on a Poinsettia showing signs of disease, overwatering, underwatering, or other issues that may need to be addressed.


If the leaves appear brittle or are turning brown, then you need to make sure that the plant is getting enough water; you should also check on the amount of sunlight the plant is getting, as browning leaves may be a sign the plant is getting too much direct light.



4. Be Sure The Temperature Is Not Too Cold And Keep Humidity High

Poinsettia thrives in temperatures of about 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's much colder or hotter, then the plant will not thrive as well as it should. A night time temperature of 18°C (65°F) is ideal.


Poinsettia is susceptible to dramatic changes in temperature. Make sure you don't place the plant near an area where cold drafts are common or where the temperature regularly rises too high. For most people, this shouldn't be an issue as long as you keep your plant in a temperature controlled indoor space.


In addition, be sure to keep the humidity levels of your Poinsettia around 60%.



5. Don't fertilize your Poinsettia if it's blooming

If your Poinsettia is currently blooming, then you need to reduce or completely stop your fertilizer routine.


Fertilizing your Poinsettia when it's blooming can overwhelm the plant, which can make the blooms more likely to shrivel.



6. Check The Pot For Sitting Water Regularly

Standing water is the enemy of Poinsettia since it can cause tons of problems, including root rot, mold growth, bacterial growth, and even the development of plant diseases or certain types of bug infestations.


That's why you want to place the plant inside a pot that has drainage holes, use a saucer to catch excess water dripping at the bottom of the pot, and empty the saucer regularly.



How To Rebloom Poinsettia After Christmas: A Month by Month Guide

After the Christmas season, your Poinsettia's beautiful blooms will go away – if you want to make sure that they make an appearance next year, you'll need to follow a specific care schedule throughout the year. The following is a month by month guide to ensuring that your Poinsettia will bloom again next year.


1. January To March

From January to March, all you need to do is water your Poinsettia whenever the surface of the soil feels dry. Make sure that the plant gets plenty of indirect light in the morning and early afternoon, and partial shade or shade in the afternoon.


2. April To May

Now it is time to start bringing your Poinsettia back to life through a unique drying process.

Once April begins, you need to start reducing the amount of water the plant receives gradually. After about a week, move the plant to a cooler spot that reaches about 60 degrees Fahrenheit; keep it there until mid-May. Then, you'll want to cut the stems and then re-home your plant in a larger container with fresh potting soil. Water it well, then place the plant in a bright window indoors. At this point, you will start to see new growth. After you see new growth, start fertilizing your plant about every 2 weeks – you can use a general plant food fertilizer (20-5-10).


3. June To July

When the weather warms up, move your Poinsettia outside and keep it in a partially shaded area. In July, pinch back the stems about one inch – it will help the plant grow with a nicer shape.


4. August To September

Around mid-August, cut or pinch the stems and bring the plant back inside. Place it in a bright window and keep up with your watering and fertilizing schedule. Continue through September, keeping an eye on the temperature.


5. October To November

Starting on October 1st, you will need to ensure that your Poinsettia stays in total darkness from 5 PM to 8 AM. This can be achieved with a light-blocking material, such as fabric or a box. Keep the plant in a bright window during the day. Keep up this treatment until the last week of November.


6. December: Bloom Time!

You will see the first blooms around early to mid-December. Water the plant and treat it like you did the last winter, then begin the process again in January.



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