Ian so excited that I have kept my poinsettia alive from last christmas! The planted a poinsettia they brought from Hawaii. This my first year using this method and I set the timer so that the light would be on for 9 hours and was careful to only check on the plants when the light was on. But these are tropical plants and cannot survive cold temps Steve. All the posts I’ve found are for people who can’t get theirs to bloom. Mark, If you use a green bag would that help instead of putting it in a dark room for x number of hours a day. Poinsett was the first U.S. While you might be successful, the only way to really give your plant the best chance of turning red again is to bring it home with you. That alone will produce a thicker, fuller plant. It’s cute, though! I think SF’s micro climates has a huge impact on plants. Bring it out again in the morning. I just need to move this to somewhere darker in about August so they will turn Red again? I started in October with putting a big black thrash bag over my plants for 12 hours and giving them sun during the days. I only water when nearly dry and I keep it on a coffee table about 6 ft from an east facing patio door. After New Year, I put them in a big bay window to die, as I am not good with plants, nor did I care to have such a responsibility. 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 had them for about three or four years now. Here is a link about turning your poinsettias red again. Botrytis gray mold (most destructive disease of poinsettia) Leaf and flower tissue rots; worse on immature leaves or wounded or stressed tissue. Eventually nothing is left to feed the plant until you add it back with fertilizer. I didn’t cut stems. https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/ Yes, you need to fertilize and this article should help. Poinsettias grow naturally in places like Mexico and Guatemala. So I hope you will try this and let us know what you learn. But make sure it has enough sun too. It is too late to turn them red for this Christmas if that’s your hope Crystal. I cost you 10 days already! We live in the Pac NW and only have about 5 hrs of dark right now, so moving it to somewhere darker in a few months will do the trick? I am covering poinsettia daily with cardboard box. Thank you for the answer to my question. Also, if you transplant and cut back, keep it out of all day direct sun for a couple weeks. I have a friend who has a poinsettia that he has kept alive indoor for decades. Once the flowers are gone, the leaf bracts fall off. Unfortunately I had to be away for conferences and meetings 4 times and so the treatment was not consistent. David, it may be time for potting up your plant. Although it needs total darkness for hours a day, it also needs to compensate for that with strong light during the day. My concern is that if you try, and then when it’s time to remove the tape, I think it’s very likely it will damage the leaves. Also, it needs to be in mostly shade for the first week or so as it adapts to being removed from it’s in-ground location and losing roots. Thanks! I think this should do it but I’d love to hear back from you on how it goes. New growth should result from just below your cuts. Ever since I went to visit a friend in an old, really old apartment building and saw a giant poinsettia tree in the lobby looking all striking and weird, I’ve wanted to have my own weirdness. Thanks Joe, great advice re the cardboard! I didn’t pay much attention, but a few weeks later the plant now has many fewer leaves but four of the sets of leaves nearest the window have turned red! I don’t know where you live but poinsettias are tropical and won’t survive a frosty night. Sign up for our newsletter. Somehow I managed to keep my transplanted poinsettias alive for their second year. Bacterial Stem Rot: Cuttings develop a soft rot at the base which moves upward quickly and kills the cutting. You’ll need to keep it indoors in a sunny spot until after the risk of frost has passed for your area. They were doing fine,; but all of a sudden many of the leaves are turning brown on the edges and curling up. Mary, Hi Martha. Is it unusual for the white bracts to be still in place – only one or two of the leaves have dropped to date. it will cook your plant. I used Siri to dictate my message and unfortunately I did not proofread it before hitting the send button. 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). All that ever happened is, they died. I am very new to plants in general. The rest of the plant has dense, green leaves. Good luck Tracy. My plant is in week four of 14 hours of darkness and only one small leaf is beginning to turn red. Havertown, PA. Hmmm, sounds like you’re on the right track. Good luck. Do I continue with the no light treatment for more red? 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? Celebrate the fact that your plant is growing tremendously. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I live in eastern Tennessee. In about eight weeks, the bracts should all be red, if you’ve followed the above guidelines. How often do I need to fertilize? Don’t worry about the limp leaves. Maybe if you use that easy-to-remove painters tape. Thanks Paul and I’m rooting for you! Your plants seem quite happy indoors. (When it comes to gardening, I have a “brown” thumb, but I’m trying to learn. At this point, there are a lot of red leaves and the new leaves coming in are red. I have done NOTHING to them but water them. While an overhead florescent light should work, a sunny, south-facing widow would be ideal if you plan to have it live indoors all year. Also, once they’re fully red, can you break the cycle? Depending on your zone, you want to wait to take your poinsettia back outside until the fear of frost is past and the daytime temperatures are 70 degrees F or warmer, with night temperatures not dropping below 50 degrees F. If the ground temperatures are ok and you have moved your plant outside but there is a cold snap, cover the plant with a blanket and then uncover it the next day before the sun heats up too much. I know it’s a lot of work to work the system to turn your poinsettia leaves red by following the “book” guidelines. In order to produce vibrantly colored bracts (or leaves) after a dormant period, your poinsettia will need to spend 12-14 hours a night in total darkness between September and November. Ambassador to Mexico with a passion for botany. Follow Joe on Twitter. Too much work, they are cheap enough to buy new ones during the Holidays. Its been 2 weeks since i moved it to larger pot. They are now over 8 ft high will they still turn color even with the large size? I didn’t know I was suppose to cut it back. 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 . DO I STILL HAVE TO COVER IT FOR 12 HOURS OR WILL IT TURN RED BY ITSELF. I have never pruned them, but reading all this advice, maybe I should. I’ve had my poinsettias a LONG time and they rarely EVER turn red. Dropping the temperature to about 60 F at night will not hurt the plant. You’ve likely heard the expression; “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. and how important is it to keep the plant in 65 degrees starting september? Just make sure you keep it watered so it doesn’t try completely out. If your plant starts to lose its leaves practically as soon as you bring it into your home, the level of carbon monoxide in your home may be too high. Should I be concerned that if the plant turns red and I stop the 14/10 hour dark/light cycle, will it revert back to green? Thank you. That’s your biggest risk of leaving them outdoors at night. The Poinsettia Leaves Are Curling & Turning Yellow ... Diseases can also cause the leaves of a poinsettia to turn yellow or brown and curl up. 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. Sorry to hear that Betty. very workable solution worth sharing with others looking for ways to get their poinsettias to rebloom. Once springs comes, you should see recovery, especially once it warms up enough to put it back outside. I have a basement. But at this point you could keep the experiment going to find out, and then you can let us all know, or settle for what you have now. Hi Chris. I live in Upcountry Maui and the Poinsettias always seem to thrive here. We’re all learning here and you could make a valuable contribution to what we don’t know…yet. Should I cut the whole thing back to four to six inches and start over or just let it go the way it is? -Kimberly Crawford. Joe Lamp'l is the Host and Executive Producer of the award winning PBS television series Growing A Greener World. That would seal off all potential light. The water needs of a poinsettia can be determined with your finger. HEY JOE , John. The plant needs time to reproduce new growth. We just moved it to a larger pot with new dirt, and its very happy and growing new green leaves. If the latter, I’d do that after the holidays. I am so excited! I was wondering how are some people able to keep their poinsettias red even after winter? Thanks for checking in Paulette. Hi, I have a poinsettia that is really two separate plants in the same pot. Mine was the same way but now the red leaves have finally all fallen off. I’ve not heard of this happening like this so quickly Heidi. Also look for shiny, sticky honeydew on leaves. Good luck. Poinsettia flowers are small, green or yellow, and grow inconspicuously in the center of each leaf bunch. I started covering the poinsettia with a thick black garbage bag inside the closet. I would not break the light / dark cycle until it’s fully red. Although very frustrating, it’s still mysterious and reminds us we’re not in control. This plant might just need a makeover above and below ground. It will make such a great comparison and learning opportunity. I’ve read most of the comments; but my question is when is the best time of year to repot a poinsettia? Thanks. Kerry, If it were me, I would conduct an experiment at this point. If you are looking for a bit more red at that point, try going a little longer with the darkness. I was going out of town for the holidays, so I didn’t complete the eighth week, sorry! 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. The pot is outside so i was thinking of a black trash bag. From what im reading in this article, this is OK? If you don’t put the plant somewhere for 14 hours where there is NO light, than you might not get red leaves. Can these plans be transplanted outside or is it too cold for them? Good luck. Will spraying the soil give it sufficient humidity? Each stem is starting to turn ONE red leaf, but only ONE per stem branch. You can transplant them out temporarily from late spring through early fall. Please keep us posted. Can I keep it there till it turns red? Not sure about bicolor but follow these directions Can I use a winter shrub cover to make my poinsettia bloom? I am not too great at pruning, the hours I work prevent me from doing the light dark routine. I’m sure the environment may have changed drastically from the nursery so the plants may be trying to figure our their new environment. It sounds like you did everything right. so if you’re after the fullest plant, I would allow the new shoots to come on as well so you have more branching and leaves that will turn red in time for Christmas. Each was purchased at a different store a year apart. It is now May and it has stayed red and healthy the whole time. I open the windows when home and when winter kicks in, I open the windows more to expose it to cold air; thinking that helps. I gave them a little bit of miracle grow about 1 1/2 weeks ago. 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. Top Questions About Poinsettia Plants. John. Click on links below to jump to that question. This is such a wonderful option for those of us who hate to throw away healthy plants only because they won’t “rebloom.”. To keep the poinsettia in bloom as long as possible, maintain a temperature of 65 to 75 F during the day. The bracts will start to turn color in about four weeks, and continue if you carefully keep up the process. Poinsettia plants can be kept outdoors in a protected sunny area during summer, if desired. Jenny, rather than spray the foliage, i would place the container in a saucer of stones and water. They were in partial sun all summer, but it was a very hot and humid summer here in the northeast. I was wondering re the chlorophyll deprivation that makes the leaves go red… do you think it would be possible to put black tape ‘stripes’ on the leaves and have them go partially red and remain partially green? Remove it from its existing pot and check the roots. I would give it a try. Oh, I live in Virginia and my favorite plant lives outside ’til frost comes. It is indeed a lot of work to turn the leaves red. Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) need total darkness, for 14 hours each day, starting about eight weeks before you want to display them. 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