How do you get a poinsettia to rebloom?

Answered by Michael Wilson

To successfully get a poinsettia to rebloom, you need to follow a specific care routine. It may seem a bit challenging, but with patience and dedication, you can enjoy the vibrant colors of your poinsettia year after year.

1. Timing: The first step is to time your efforts correctly. Starting from the end of September, you need to provide your poinsettia with extended periods of darkness. This is crucial for triggering the blooming process. From 5pm to 8am every day, the plant should be kept in complete darkness, without any exposure to artificial or natural light.

2. Darkness: Creating a completely dark environment for your poinsettia is essential. Even a small amount of light can disrupt the blooming process. Consider covering the plant with a black cloth or placing it in a dark room or closet during the required hours. Any exposure to light during this period can delay or prevent the reblooming.

3. Temperature: Along with the darkness, maintaining the right temperature is important. Ideally, the temperature should range between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15-21 degrees Celsius). Avoid placing the poinsettia in extreme temperature conditions, such as near drafty windows or heating sources. Consistent temperature levels will contribute to the success of reblooming.

4. Regular Care: While your poinsettia is going through the darkness phase, it still requires regular care during the daylight hours. Place the plant in a bright location where it receives indirect sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day. Water the poinsettia when the soil feels dry to the touch, but be cautious not to overwater it, as this can lead to root rot.

5. Fertilization: To support the poinsettia’s growth and prepare it for reblooming, apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks during the daylight hours. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and avoid over-fertilizing, as it can harm the plant.

6. Patience: Reblooming a poinsettia requires patience and consistency. It can take several weeks for the plant to show signs of color in the bracts, which are the colorful leaves surrounding the small yellow flowers. Resist the temptation to check on the plant during the darkness period, as any exposure to light can disrupt the process and delay blooming.

7. Transitioning: Once the poinsettia starts showing color in the bracts (typically in early to mid-December), you can gradually transition it back to regular light conditions. Start by gradually increasing the light exposure each day for a week or two until the plant can tolerate full daylight without any adverse effects.

Remember, reblooming a poinsettia is not guaranteed, and some varieties may be more challenging to re-flower than others. However, by following these steps and providing consistent care, you increase your chances of success.

Personal Experience: I have successfully re-flowered poinsettias multiple times using this method. The key is to be diligent in providing the required darkness and maintaining the right temperature. It can be a rewarding experience to see the vibrant colors of the poinsettia return year after year, making it a festive addition to your holiday decor.