If you have poinsettia plants, then you know what a challenge it can be to get them to bloom. However, it is important to note that getting poinsettias to bloom is actually not that difficult as long as you are diligent and ensure that the plants are kept in complete darkness for the required number of hours.
Here are some tips for getting poinsettias to bloom, and hopefully you should have full blooming plants come Christmas.
Once the holiday season is over, you will notice that the poinsettias gradually start losing their leaves. This is because the plants enter a resting phase. This is the time to shift the plants to a cooler and shadier part of the house. Do not get stressed out about the falling leaves, as it is a natural phenomenon that is supposed to occur. Reduce the amount of water that you are putting. Just water the plants when you notice that the soil is dry. Use the touch method to check the dryness of the soil. Refrain from fertilizing during this period. In case you do not want the leaves to fall on their own, you can trim the branches to around a few inches from the soil. This will leave you with just the stumps of the plants. (See Reference 1)
Once the outside temperature consistently remains at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or more, you can relocate the plant outdoors. Before relocating the plant, repot it into a larger pot. Use organic potting soil to fill the pot. When placing poinsettias outside, do not place them in direct sunlight. Instead, place in a shady spot where sunlight can filter through. Then begin to water and fertilize the plant as you would normally do. This will stimulate growth, and new shoots and leaves will begin to grow. (See Reference 1)
During the summer months, prune the poinsettia, so that the plant has just 3 to 4 main branches. You can use the cuttings to propagate new poinsettias. By the time summer comes to an end, your poinsettias will not only be healthy, but also larger in size. (See Reference 1)
In order to get poinsettias to bloom, you would have to change the light cycle. Everyday, ensure that the plants get around 12 hours of complete darkness. This should begin from the end of September or beginning of October. It is only then that your poinsettias will bloom for Christmas. (See Reference 1)
To give complete darkness to the plants, move them into a closet where no light filters in. Alternatively, you can cover the plant with a black bag. When not in complete darkness, the plant should be kept at its normal location where it can get around 6 hours of sunlight. Ensure that the plant get the required number of hours of darkness right till the middle of November. (See Reference 1)
By the time fall sets in, the bracts should begin to form and grow. Once you notice the bracts growing, do not keep the poinsettias any longer in the dark. Instead, treat them like you normally would. By the time Christmas comes, you will have a blooming poinsettia in your home. (See Reference 1)
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