A long-standing tradition, poinsettias always brighten up our homes and create a magical atmosphere during the Holidays. Did you know that with the right care, it is possible for your poinsettia to flower again the following year?
How to have your poinsettia flower again
After the Holidays, many people get rid of their poinsettia once the flowering phase is over. After the bracts have fallen, the plant turns into a more common house plant, which is a lot less exciting to look at.
It is essential to heed your plant's needs if you want it to flower again in the months to come.
Poinsettias need direct light. Place your plants by a window and keep the growing medium moist during flowering. If the growing medium feels dry to the touch, water again. In the fall, when temperatures drop below 18 °C, bring your poinsettias back inside. It's time for them to flower.
- Make sure the plants are exposed to 12 hours of darkness by placing them in a dark room from 5 PM to 8 AM the next morning.
- During the day, place them where they will get lots of light.
- This must be done from the beginning of October, over a period of 8 weeks.
- You can place your poinsettia in a cardboard box or paper bag to keep it in the dark.
Once flowering has occurred, there is no need to add fertilizer. Just keep watering as you're doing now.
Caring for your poinsettia in the spring and summer
In the spring, wait a little longer between waterings and start fertilizing.
In June, take your poinsettias outdoors. Choose a spot offering sunlight in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon (a patio or under a tree, for example). It may also be time to repot your plants.
Check if the roots lack space. If so, transplant them and make sure to use a potting mix that has a good drainage capacity and that contains growth-enhancing nutrients. Make sure the new pot is a few centimetres bigger and that it has drainage holes too.
How long does flowering last?
A quality plant that received good care can flower for 2 to 3 months. Most poinsettias flower for 4 to 6 weeks before the flowers start falling.
Are poinsettias toxic?
Many people think poinsettias are toxic, but in fact, it's rarely the case. Studies show that their leaves, stems, bracts and flowers are not toxic for humans and pets. If ingested, there could be mild vomiting, and more rarely, diarrhea. As toxicity levels are very low, a medical treatment is seldom necessary. And given the very unpleasant taste of the leaves, ingestion by a child or animal is highly unlikely.