Repot into a 2-3 inches in diameter larger pot. Make sure
the soil mass is moistened and place in a sunny window.
When all danger of frost has passed and night temperature
are above 60•F the plant can be placed outdoors. Place
the poinsettia in a shady location for two to three weeks
to allow it to become acclimated to the new environment.
Then sink the pot in a sunny protected outdoor flower bed.
Light shade during the afternoon is okay.
Turn the poinsettia pot regularly to prevent rooting through
the bottom hole. It is suggested that a quarter turn each
week will prevent this and will also help to keep the plant
growth even all around the pot. If the pot is not turned,
one side may get more sun than the other.
If you prefer a short plant with many flowers, pinch out
the growing shoots to encourage branching. Pinching should
produce more flowers and a nice bushy plant. This should
be done at 3 to 4 week intervals, according to the speed
of growth. Pinch out the top 1/4 inch by hand. Two or three
large fully expanded leaves should be left below the pinch;
this serves as a guide for knowing when the shoots are ready
for pinching. Continue this practice until mid- August,
when the plant should have a satisfactory shape and number
Keep the plant growing actively all summer by regular watering
and feeding every two weeks with a complete soluble fertilizer
Before night temperatures fall below 55-60°F at night,
bring the poinsettia indoors to a sunny location. Check
for pests and diseases and place poinsettia in a south window.
Flowering is "photo periodically" induced in the
poinsettia. This means that flowers begin to form when the
days are a certain length, or, more accurately, when the
nights are long enough. The poinsettia is a short-day or
long-night plant. Without long nights, this plant will continue
to produce leaves and will grow but will never flower. You
must make certain it receives no light from any source.
Very short periods of lighting at night may be enough to
prevent or interfere with flowering. Even light from a street
light can stop flowering. If the plant is to be grown in
a room that is lighted nightly, cover it completely at dusk
(5p.m.) every day with a heavy paper bag, a piece of opaque
black cloth, other light-tight cover or place in a dark
Flower initiation begins in late September and early October.
Dark periods longer than 12 hours are necessary for flower
set. Flowers mature in from 60 to 85 days depending on varieties,
temperature and light intensity.
Because flower initiation depends upon the length of the
dark period, your poinsettia must be kept completely dark
from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. The time to give this treatment is
from the end of September until December 15.
Once you can see the flowers developing in the growing
plants, i.e., when the floral bracts start to show definite
color, it is not as important to continue giving the dark
period, though it is advisable to continue until the bracts
are almost fully expanded.
Temperatures should be no less than 55°F at night,
but not more than 70°F. During the day give the poinsettia
as much sunlight as possible.
Reduce the amount of fertilizer given after bringing the
plant indoors. Growth is slower in the lower light intensity
inside the house.
High night temperatures, coupled with low-light intensity,
low nutrition, dry soil or improper photo period may delay