I’ve always considered myself to have a black thumb so I’m scared to mess with it since doing nothing so far has made it seemingly happy. When you say “bloom” I assume you are talking about turning the leaves red. Water as necessary to keep soil moist but not soggy. My poinsettia got too cold because I walked across the street with it in 20 degree weather. When you deprive the plant in its full leafing stage of light, the only chlorophyll used to turn the leaves green cannot be produced. Just keep it happy as you have been doing and try again next year. if i begin the dark cycles in october, would they still turn red by winter? I love poinsettias! Joe, I planted several poinsettas in 100 gallon pots on the back patio. Hi Joe. You need a good head start. Some of the new leaves are turning red (only half of the leaf), some times it seems the leaves are very light green so if we keep it in the box for a day they get a very nice dark green . Thank you!! I’m sorry I’m late in responding to your question. Give it a try. Cutting or pruning is a great way to stimulate new growth and invigorate your plant. I’m not sure where you live but I think you will have time if you prune your poinsettias now. I would love it if you would find a way to block the light and keep the experiment going. I have a red poinsettia , which I bought in December 2014. They’ll stay this way for several weeks, at least until after Christmas. Happy Gardening! If I cover it with black garbage bag , from what time till what time is best to leave the garbage bag on the poinsettia plant? Based in Dublin ireland, we have 4 poinsettias since Christmas that still have their white bracts in place. I live in eastern Tennessee. Q I have a large poinsettia with plenty of fresh green leaves. Yes, Edith. Let us know what happens as well over time. The plant liked it, though. All the branches died I wonder if they’ll adjust and behave for the holidays. If you do as I suggest, then pruning out new shoots in July would be ok, but keep in mind the red leaves you are after are just that, leaves. During the day, the plants need bright light, along with the other routine care. Also, the plant might be pot bound. I hope this helps. Scouting for nymphs is difficult and requires turning over leaves to look for the pests. Will it still have enough time to regrow for the summer and fall so I get blooms in December? My question is – can I leave it in the dark for 48 hours (over the weekend?) Anyway, I am going to try to get it to bloom red for this Christmas. That would seal off all potential light. Yes. Hi Joe – really useful, clear advice, thanks! It wouldn’t necessarily look that good, I realise, but I’m curious to see whether it would work at all, even if it means sacrificing a fully red poinsettia for a year. from the old leaves there’s only one left now, all the rest is new leaves that are dense but small in size. I have an almost leafless poinsettia which after seeing your comments I learned that I can cut the stems back and it will put on new leaves/growth. Once fall returns (and shorter days), reduce the amount of fertilizer, and bring outdoor plants inside. When the bracts turn muddy green in spring, prune all the stems to 3 to 6 inches above the plant's soil, making each cut just above a leaf. During this time you should remove any little branches that grow around them. Longitudinal water-soaked streaks on stems and spots on leaves. If you are looking for a bit more red at that point, try going a little longer with the darkness. Upon discovering this shrub, he became so enchanted with its bright red blooms that he sent some to his South Carolina home to be propagated. If I put my plants in the basement in windows will the moonlight impact them turning red? Is it unusual for the white bracts to be still in place – only one or two of the leaves have dropped to date. The planted a poinsettia they brought from Hawaii. I am really confused by this thing. That alone will produce a thicker, fuller plant. Although the cause for this disorder is still unclear, it is thought that rapid changes in humidity (i.e., when vent fans come on in early morning) causes salts to accumulate along leaf margins and veins. I can’t come to work during weekend. Any thoughts? What would be your advise in terms of pruning while the bracts are still present and should I pop them outside for the summer (Dublin temps are 12 to 20degrees centigrade). How do I get its leaves to turn red for Christmas? They are now over 8 ft high will they still turn color even with the large size? I have a friend who has a poinsettia that he has kept alive indoor for decades. Please keep us posted. You’re getting response so let’s keep at it. Check the potting soil daily. None of the leaves are turning red but, I do have new growth. Mrs Beatrice Petty, Urmston, Manchester . Live in California in August! Nothing out of the ordinary, that is, until this year! The only other thing I can suggest, and you’re likely already doing this, is to make sure they are getting plenty of darkness through the night time. Poinsettia grows in the wild in Mexico where it easily caps off at six feet (two meters) tall. 1) My poinsettia leaves are a half of original one( I replanted the one I bought last year). The research I’ve done shows that I need to keep it moist and do the 14-10 that you guys have been doing as well. Since our winter is so cold this year, I just relocated them temporarily, away from the window, as their leaves were curling a bit. This article is mega useful as I was wondering how on earth I was going to turn my poinsettia red again. I don’t know if moonlight will hinder your plants from turning red. In order to fully understand or appreciate this plant, it is helpful to take a look at where did the poinsettia come from. In this video I talk about my Poinsettia which is finally turning red just in time for Christmas. Still very healthy. (When it comes to gardening, I have a “brown” thumb, but I’m trying to learn. Shane, I have a poinsettia that has been beautiful, putting in closet at night and doing what I am suppose to, but one of the branches has broken and I don’t know what to do. So I will continue leaving it in front of the windows as its the only time I have ever had a poinsetta live let alone change color. We have been light monitoring our poinsettia, from last year about, for five weeks (we should have started sooner, but we are newbies to reblooming, and are none-the-less very excited for the success we are seeing). You have discovered one of the fundamental basics of growing a Bonsai tree! But you could safely cut it back about 1/3 or 1/2 after the risk of frost is gone this spring when you move it outside during the warm months. I have waited until now – the end of May to consider pruning. G. I have been putting my potted poinsettia in a closet every night without fail for a month. Some of the new leaves are turning red (only half of the leaf), some times it seems the leaves are very light green so if we keep it in the box for a day they get a very nice dark green . Can I just put a plastic bag over it for the 14 hours a day? c/o The Joe Gardener Company Image by SharonDay. However last Saturday I returned after 3 days and both plants have a few red leaves!!! Now, the other two are turning red. Best of luck. Many people wonder what makes poinsettias turn red. Thanks. Not sure if this is better or worse. Ian so excited that I have kept my poinsettia alive from last christmas! To reiterate, I have not been putting the plant in the closet or anything for 6-7 weeks, and now some leaves are changing. I started the process on Sunday night (brought the plant inside the house as cardboard wasn’t viable) and this am about a dozen leaves have started showing red veins and darken in color. It’s now about 2 ft tall and 3 ft across with a dense crown of leaves. Thanks Melvin. But if there is too much ambient light throughout the night, it could impact your results. It will be fun to hear more about this. It could be a number of things. Will spraying the soil give it sufficient humidity? The true flower of a poinsettia is actually only the tightly-clustered yellow buds in the center (termed ‘cyathia’). Good luck Amy. Also, you’ll need to keep it watered as indoor environments can be very dry. But, I can have a red plant for Valentine’s day! Thanks for sharing this tip with us. May the light green is better and its not getting enough light? They were in partial sun all summer, but it was a very hot and humid summer here in the northeast. Good luck. My experience is that once the leaves have turned red, you can put them out in full light. Advice? I re-potted it in spring and fertilized it once. Green Leaves - The leaves of my poinsettia are turning green. The plant is rather large and seems very healthy, losing a few leaves now and then just as it has done all year. Let me do this again. I hope I don’t kill them…. Poinsettia life cycle may seem a bit complicated, but this short-day plant must satisfy certain growing requirements in order to bloom. My first choice at this point is to leave it alone (but keep doing what you’re doing) if you are keeping it indoors. Thanks. Just trying to figure out how tightly I have to monitor this in case ‘life’ gets in the way! I have a couple questions. It is too late to turn them red for this Christmas if that’s your hope Crystal. It’s called ramification, and each time you ramify, in theory the leaves should reduce to about half their previous size (In theory). My guess is they will, just like poinsettias out in their native Mexico. Please let us know and share more details about the environment where they’re planted. Is that possible? Best of luck. Poinsettias WILL drop their leaves as the winter goes on. I remember doing experiments with plant leaves along these lines in school – not sure if it would work in this case though. Alpharetta, GA 30004. You can then replant in the garden in a sunny spot. If the bracts aren’t needed or a burden they’ll drop off on their own. My Poinsettia has developed dark edges around the red leaves. This may be a dumb question but how long to you keep up the black out cycle? Hey Alex. Poinsettia Getting Yellow Leaves – Reasons For Poinsettia Leaves Turning Yellow. If the branches are broken, then I would simply focus on keeping it alive and not putting it in the closet at night to force red leaves. These plants are thriving and are beautiful. But here’s plenty of notice for next year. Or should I continue covering them for 3 more weeks? Lesions on leaves … New growth should result from just below your cuts. Since you are recommending that a poinsettia can be put in the ground, which US zone does the poinsettia grow best in? and how important is it to keep the plant in 65 degrees starting september? Depending on where you have the plant (planted outside, or in a pot indoors), will determine how you approach this process. When you don’t have optimum light and heating arrangements you sometimes just watch the thing and say, “grow or die, sucka!” Maybe next Christmas I’ll try the 14-10 method. I got this plant from my mom, It is real healthy and is all green. They are inside in a very bright room out of direct sunlight. I too started my attempts at turning a poinsettia in an office setting. Works like a charm. The biggest problem I see with the black plastic is that it can cook your plant. Several barely survived the pressure washing company’s strong chemicals. I don’t want to kill it, as it was given to me by a friend who died shortly after and it has sentimental value to it. Not only has it still got red flowers , the leaves have also not dropped. Sorry for all the errors! I’ve always found that in order to increase leaf size, you need to place it in a spot where it gets slightly less sun than it needs. Yes, please do keep us posted. Hi everyone I manage to keep my poinsettia alive since December. I would not break the light / dark cycle until it’s fully red. Good luck and let us know how it worked for you. Therefore, it may be necessary to place plants in a dark closet or cover with cardboard boxes. I don’t let the plant get leggy, but by trimming about 1/3 of the leaves, and placing it in partial shade usually results in larger leaves. Can I leave the plant in the closet 24 hours. Since you said it’s about 10″ below without leaves, I would suggest leaving about a dozen nicely shaped branches or more with approximately the same length removing every little ones that comes out. I have to have the oddest Poinsettia. Happy Thanksgiving! I have a poinsettia I bought last November. Thanks for your advice, the update. We are now getting our second — and in some cases, third sets — of colored leaves. John, the leaf size is a product of what the plant can support based on its environmental conditions. The green bag will block the green light waves and would make the plant turn red to try and find other light waves to use (is what I am thinking). I see the stems are turning more red but I’ve noticed the more leafs are falling then usual. Found your suggestions and tried to follow this them year. Hi Joe, I’m a very new to the plant world. But make sure it has enough sun too. I could take it home of course. When we sold the house in 2003, the base of the plant was 11″ in diameter and it was 6 feet tall. i’m thinking the plastic will help keep the humidity as well. You’ll need to keep it indoors in a sunny spot until after the risk of frost has passed for your area. I would give it a try. When you say the plant needs a humid environment during the day, can I put it on a window sill in a centrally heated room. Why are my Poinsettia leaves turning yellow? Growing a Greener World And, I’m still ‘misting’ the leaves as it’s still hot and windy here. Hi Martha. How important is humidity during the dark process? At this point, forget the fertilizer, keep the soil barely moist and don’t worry if the leaves don’t look great for now. Top Questions About Poinsettia Plants. I gave them a little bit of miracle grow about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Sounds like you have the perfect house plants. From what im reading in this article, this is OK? However alot of the Red leaves are falling off. Add a light amount of fertilizer in the spring and summer. If there is a layer of yellow pollen covering the flowers, this means that the plant is more mature and will not last as long. Leaves appear to have an extremely rough texture often compared to alligator skin. How can I keep them red? Best of luck. I would love to keep it outside but the weather has been very cold here even in south Louisiana. The leaves turning red has everything to do with providing the right about of light and darkness as referenced in my article and the various comments and replies in this post. AFTER JANUARY I PLANTED IT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE IN A SEMI SHADED AREA. But you need to prune the top removing branches especially the small ones that will not receive light since they are hidden from other branches. As for light, the plant needs light each day as well as total darkness too. I bought a poinsettia last december. Have I understood correctly that after the red blooms fall off, I am to cut each stem down a bit? I commend folks who place a box over their poinsettias every night to force the leaves to turn red. I’m not sure if I’ll try the 14 hours of darkness to try and get them red in time for Christmas. I have a plant out front in orlando i just coverd it with a box cutting all light out do i have to take the box off during the day? I have never pruned them, but reading all this advice, maybe I should. I didn’t cut stems. Some varieties have bracts that change from a deep green to a brighter or lighter green, pink, white, and a few other variations. I am stunned. I doubt you could find a place that is “too” sunny from inside. If you are digging up from the ground, I’d repot after summer and with enough time before you bring it back inside, so that it has time to acclimate to its new home in a pot. It would be a valuable lesson for us all. I never trimed it and I didn’t know you could plant it out side. It’s still a pretty plant even with green leaves but not so much with a few stems and a couple leaves. I WANTED TO KNOW SINCE I CANT MOVE IT SOMEWHERE FOR TOTAL DARKNESS.IS PUTTING A BOX OVER IT CAN THAT HELP ME OUT HERE WITH SOME HOLES MABYE. Types Of Poinsettia Plants: Choosing Different Poinsettia Varieties, Poinsettia Care - How Do You Take Care Of Poinsettias, Poinsettia Care Following Christmas: What To Do With Poinsettias After Holidays, Homemade Gifts For Gardeners – DIY Garden Presents Anyone Can Make, Regional To-Do List: December Gardening In The Northeast, Holiday Garden Baskets: How To Make Christmas Hanging Baskets, Poinsettia Care – How Do You Take Care Of Poinsettias, Christmas Tree Care: Caring For A Live Christmas Tree In Your Home, Tips For Pruning Hibiscus Plants & When To Prune Hibiscus, Diseases Of Holly Bushes: Pests And Diseases Damaging Holly Bushes, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables, Gratitude For The Garden – Being Grateful For Each Growing Season, 7 Reasons To Do Your Garden Shopping Locally, Thankful Beyond Words – What Represents Gratefulness In My Garden. Good luck! It gets dark in my living room so I didn’t move it. Hi Thanks for your question and please do keep us posted. Can I keep it there till it turns red? The most important thing when trying to to turn your poinsettias red again is the darkness. Thanks! Hi, can you please tell me the best way to get my golden poinsettia tree back to life. I thought the red would start showing in about 4 weeks, not 3 days! Yes, you should cut it back to a height of 4 to 6.” https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/ . Don’t choose any poinsettias where the coloured flower bracts are already turning green as the plant is older and the colour won’t last as long. Good luck. Most of the leaves are green with the exception of the topmost few which are smaller and red or white repectivly. I know I could never keep it up for 8-10 weeks! In mid-October, I moved my poinsettia’s from an outdoor patio to an unused bathroom which gets no light in the evening. Also look for shiny, sticky honeydew on leaves. The plant needs light each day and complete darkness at night. Thank You, Ive researched and failed ..its now 2 months of 5pm to 8am total darkness..and bright flourescent lights or the sunny windows ..theres no peak thru light when I put the plant to sleep..I made a cover that fits in the cracks in the doors of a cabinet we are only using for this plant and here we are with dark , very dark in fact , green leaves and only a hint of red speckles in the stems..So my family laughs and says MOM YOU CAN BUY ONE FOR $8.00!! I just put it in the garage after Christmas and and moved it outside in the spring–still in the same pot. did you follow the guidelines for the light/dark timing? https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/ this link may help. I have never had this question before and I’ve never tried. Poinsettias need a humid environment during this time, but be careful not to spray the foliage directly, as you may invite leaf spot, not a desired feature on such a showy leaf! The plant needs time to reproduce new growth. At what point do we stop providing 14 hours of total darkness? Thanks for any advice you can provide. About half of the small stems connecting leaves to the branches have turned red, but that’s it- no red on the leaves at all. Not sure if this is better or worse. Hi Joe, I knew nothing about them other than that they were pretty and cheap. How to get bicolor leaves . with a lamp w bright bulb on a timer . But it is usually because of nutrient deficiency. Unfortunately I had to be away for conferences and meetings 4 times and so the treatment was not consistent. From inside the house, don’t be afraid to park it in a sunny spot. Yes, this will be more than is advised, but my hunch is that this will be ok for 2 days per week. Water when the plant becomes dry. Poinsettia plants can be kept outdoors in a protected sunny area during summer, if desired. But these are tropical plants and cannot survive cold temps Steve. Don’t feel bad if it’s a bigger undertaking than you have time for. The window is pretty cold in the winter and they virtually bake in it in the summer. I have done NOTHING to them but water them. Susan, Too much work, they are cheap enough to buy new ones during the Holidays. Thanks for your help. Congratulations on your success. Once the plant is settled in, and while it’s still warm, you could cut them back to promote a smaller or fuller plant. I don’t care if the plants turn red; I really want them to thrive until I can put them outside again next Spring….Thanks for any tips.. So I hope you will try this and let us know what you learn. Idon’t need the whole plant to go red, just the tops…?? Eventually nothing is left to feed the plant until you add it back with fertilizer. By dumb luck I’ve managed to keep a Christmas poinsettia alive for three years. *whispers* I even accidentally for got to cover it on 2 occasions in the 1st and 2nd week so my plant still forgave me! I have repotted them twice and it’s time to do it again. I wouldn’t try to force any changes there. But once it is, you’re good to go through and beyond the holidays. The small yellow flowers are found in the center of the leaf branches. I cannot explain the why behind it, but like with most things with plants and gardening, there are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule. I have three poinsettias: a 1 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3 year old. I am very new to plants in general. I have been going through all the comments and have learned a lot. Perhaps a reader will offer suggestions on how to make this happen. My question, if I keep repotting them, will they just get bigger? Mine is by patio door probably to much light. IAM A NEW YORKER HERE AND I GOT A POINSETTA FROM A CLIENT AND ITS SITTING IN MY WINDOW AT WORK AND GOING STRONG SINCE CHRISTMAS OF 2015. If you have a closet and can block off light from getting in at the top, sides or bottom this should probably work. Is that what’s keeping the change from happening, or do I just need to wait longer? I never have a problem getting poinsettias to turn red again and I don’t do anything to it (as far as putting it in the closet). It reinforces how amazing and resilient plants are. Here is the link for the information about your poinsettia. You can keep it as a houseplant if you provide it sufficient light. I have, to my best, attempted try to let my Poinsettia be in total darkness for 14 hours…then I set it where light can get to it. I’ll let you decide that. I have the plant at my work. Hmmm, the black garbage back worries me. This will help me now because I used to leave it outside and it was dying on me did not now why now that u know ill make this plant live more and my wife will be even more happy. As for turning new leaves red again, following the guide in the article should do the trick. A further update: another month later, the plant still has relatively few leaves, but on about 6-8 branches, the leaves closest to the window have turned color. My kind of a plant! yes Betty. It was introduced to the United States in 1828 and got its name from Joel Roberts Poinsett. Mary, Very leggy plants tell me it needs more light. I am in Jamaica and have two poinsettias I bought last year. Caring for a Poinsettia With Dropped Leaves. But even so, I don’t think the leaves can stand up to that. When you do, break up the roots so they’re not all tightly wound in a circular pattern and use a high-quality “potting soil” or “container mix” when you transfer the plant to the new pot. The plant has really grown large so I’m afraid if I cover it too tightly I may damage leaves and/or break branches. Thank you for the answer to my question. I gave up. Can these plans be transplanted outside or is it too cold for them? But don’t set it outside until it warms up in spring. I followed Joe’s article and got red leaves last year by Christmas. EXPERTS. I don’t know where you live but poinsettias are tropical and won’t survive a frosty night. All the posts I’ve found are for people who can’t get theirs to bloom. Hi, I have a three year old poinsettia that has never been trimmed, puned, or pinched. I kept them alive (albeit not in the best shape) and in May (I live in Mass), I moved them outside without trimming, etc. Bumping up the container size slightly and loosening the roots when you do, will keep your plant healthier and fresh. Jenny, rather than spray the foliage, i would place the container in a saucer of stones and water. Ro, Adding too much and the result is fertilizer burn. Am I understanding that I should prune it all the way back (in this case) to were there are no leaves left? Hi. I can’t say for sure but I have my doubts that florescent lights are bright enough to fully replace the sunlight. Thanks Paul and I’m rooting for you! Now however I have two to three ft plants with almost a barky type stem and few leaves. It’s inside by the door to my office and it’s in a window. Botrytis gray mold (most destructive disease of poinsettia) Leaf and flower tissue rots; worse on immature leaves or wounded or stressed tissue. The weekend conundrum with your plant being at work will disrupt the light / dark cycle. We have nice color forming on the new leaves. I water them only when quite dry. Thanks for the info on turning the leaves red again. I’m impressed they did so well. Just waiting to put in the dark. I’m SO impressed with myself, I’ve never managed this with a plant (except a spider plant but a toddler could grow those!). I think SF’s micro climates has a huge impact on plants. We have been putting our pointsettia in light during the day for about 8 hours and in a box for the rest of the day/night.