Your coworker gave you a poinsettia for the office holiday party. You bring it home, care for it, and now it’s after January 1st. What now?
Caring for your poinsettia is not only important for the life and longevity of the plant, but it’s also a great way to ensure that you get Christmas blooms. These blooms are called bracts, or the colored part of the plant that isn’t actually the flower. The poinsettia flowers are the little yellow parts in the centers of the bracts.
The best way to cultivate holiday flowers for Christmas is to use a light restriction system. This will cut off the amount of light the poinsettia gets, forcing it to bloom for the holiday season. You can do this by locking your plant up in total darkness for three hours a day (from 5 to 8 PM is the suggested time), which tells the plant that sunlight is lessened.
Poinsettias prefer well-drained soil, and while misting them with fertilizer and water can benefit them by adding moisture, it’s important not to leave standing water in the soil. This can cause irreversible root rot, and can ultimately kill your plant.
Take care of your poinsettia, and you can get it to bloom every holiday season.