How do you turn the poinsettia leaves red again?
It’s a little late to start trying to turn Poinsettia leaves red for Christmas this year, but here are some tips for next year.
LATE WINTER/ EARLY SPRING
Poinsettias have long-lasting flowers so their bracts remain colorful for several months. During this time, side shoots develop below the bracts. To have a well-shaped plant the following year, cut each of the old flowering stems or branches back to 4 to 6 inches in height. Leave one to three leaves on each of the old stems, new growth comes from buds located in the leaf axils along these stems. Cutting the plant back in February or early March helps the buds grow and develop. Keep you Poinsettia in a sunny area where the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees, and fertilize every 2 weeks.
LATE SPRING & SUMMER
Between July and August 1, prune all shoots to about 4 inches, leaving about one to three leaves on each shoot.
In order for the Poinsettia bracts to turn color again, the plant must be kept in complete darkness for 12-15 hours from the end of September until color shows in the bracts in early to mid-December. The temperature should remain between 60 and 70 degrees. Night temperatures above 70 to 75 degrees may delay or prevent the plant from turning red. Hopefully you’ll have a beautiful plant for Christmas.