Once Christmas is over, the tree and decorations eventually make their way into storage for next year's use. However, there are some things you can't just put away, like plants, for example, poinsettias. Deciding what to do with plant decorations after Christmas might be confusing, especially when you see some of them only during the holiday season. Fortunately, if you're a fan of these green pets and would like to see them year-round, there are some things you can do! Keep reading to learn about ways to handle your poinsettia after the holidays.
Do We Need to Throw Away Poinsettias After Christmas?
The thought, "What should I do with my poinsettia after Christmas?" might cross your mind after you put away everything else reminiscent of Christmas. You don't have to throw your poinsettia away! Instead, you can learn how to care for it and get it to rebloom in the future.
Step-By-Step Guide to Poinsettia Care After Christmas
If you want to adopt your Christmas poinsettia into your garden for the remainder of the year, you will need to take certain steps to ensure it survives until the next holiday season. Here are some things to do to handle poinsettia care after Christmas:
Step 1: Keep your plant in a warm place, away from air drafts. Poinsettia should also get bright, indirect light for at least 6 hours daily.
Step 2: Water your poinsettia regularly, allowing the soil to dry at least halfway through the pot before watering again. Keep up this routine until it begins to warm up at the end of spring. Then, you can allow the soil to dry out fully and prune any leggy growth, leaving about 4 inches (10 cm) of stem above the soil line.
Step 3: After pruning, you can start thoroughly watering your plant. At this point, you might also apply fertilizer every two weeks. Continue watering and fertilizing regularly until autumn.
Step 4: At the beginning of autumn, stop fertilizing and move your poinsettia to a dark place.
Step 5: By Christmas, your poinsettia may rebloom. You can continue the care for many years!
Seasonal Care Guide
When growing a poinsettia, it's important to know how to care for it throughout the seasons. Here's how you can keep your plant happy for many years:
- Poinsettias will usually lose their color around this time. We recommend pruning them when their height exceeds 5 inches (12.5 cm).
- If you have a poinsettia in a pot, move your plant to a bigger container once the weather warms up. Repotting will encourage growth by giving the roots more room.
- Fertilize twice a month during the spring season to see more foliage growth.
- Provide your poinsettia with bright, indirect light, preferably from an east-facing window.
- During the summer months, fertilize your poinsettias every two weeks using a balanced fertilizer.
- Allow your poinsettias to get at least 6 hours of bright, indirect light daily for optimal growth.
- If your plant was indoors and you'd like to transition it outside, late spring or early summer is the best time. We recommend replanting your poinsettia into a slightly shaded spot.
- In late summer, you can pinch back stems by an inch (2.5 cm) to create a compact growth habit. Pinch back to 3-4 leaves at the end of the summer.
- You can bring your poinsettias inside if you experience temperatures below 50˚ F (10˚C). It will protect them from potential cold spells that might be quite damaging and encourage future blooming.
- Give your poinsettia periods of uninterrupted darkness for 13 hours a day over ten weeks. Provide bright light for the remaining hours of the day.
- Keep fertilizing and watering as usual.
- Refrain from fertilizing in December.
- Maintain a regular care routine with watering and protecting from cold or hot drafts.
- If poinsettia receives sufficient light and dark cycles over the autumn, it will reward you with a bright and colorful blossom.
How Long Can We Keep a Poinsettia?
The answer to 'How long we can keep a poinsettia' depends entirely on your ability to provide proper care. If you aren't creating a favorable environment, the potted poinsettia will live for about three months. However, if you are willing to nurture and provide care for the plant, it can live up to five years!
Check out our video on what to do with your poinsettias after the holidays:
How to Get a Poinsettia to Rebloom?
- Provide sufficient light/dark periods. Poinsettias require 13 hours of complete darkness a day, followed by 11 hours of bright light for about ten weeks during the autumn. The room should also be warm, as poinsettias do not fare well in cold temperatures.
- Fertilize and prune regularly throughout the summer, though cut back during the ten weeks you give your plant an uninterrupted dark period each day.
When Do Poinsettias Bloom Naturally?
Poinsettias naturally bloom during the autumn season. They require a long period of darkness per day, which usually comes during the longer nights of fall and winter.
Are Poinsettias Annuals or Perennials?
Poinsettias are perennials and can survive multiple years with the proper care, though many treat them as annuals since they are notoriously difficult to get to re-flower.
When Should We Put Our Poinsettia in the Dark?
Poinsettias should be placed in the dark when the nights become longer to keep up with their natural rhythm. Usually, it means at the beginning of autumn.