I live in Kansas City. Each was purchased at a different store a year apart. 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. It will do well either way. And you may never need to prune them if you’re happy with the size and shape. 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.. I would wait until February or early March to cut it back. OMGoodness! Lastly, I advise that you remove the plant from its original container and transplant it to one a bit larger. I have had them for about three or four years now. I have had mine for 4 years and prune it in the spring back to mostly stems but can’t put it outdoors so keep it in a south facing window. Happy Gardening! I think one of the best things about gardening is the aspect of discovery. It will be fun to hear more about this. The true flower of a poinsettia is actually only the tightly-clustered yellow buds in the center (termed ‘cyathia’). Days are getting longer and you can’t give it the environment it needs to change outside. Would be interesting to know. My coworker says he does nothing to his poinsettia and it’s turned red each of the last 3 Christmases. Seriously…how can this be? Assuming this is not practical, do all you can during the week and lets see how this turns out. And please let us know how this worked out. Is it too late to do any of this to be ready to turn green by Christmas? When you find your poinsettia wilting, with all its the leaves and bracts hanging limply like lettuce in the sun, and its soil is dry to the touch, it’s pretty obvious that it lacked water. Will spraying the soil give it sufficient humidity? If the bracts aren’t needed or a burden they’ll drop off on their own. Is there any way to halt or slow the process or is it now too late for this season? Its been 2 weeks since i moved it to larger pot. You can keep it as a houseplant if you provide it sufficient light. Although it is a little late, I still thing ill give it a go and see how it works. It winters in the cool guest room with generally only natural light. I have not been watering them until i felt that the soil was dry. I would wait a bit either way and let the plants acclimate to their new environment first. I would especially pay close attention to the uncovered plants for the first signs of reversion or loss of redness back to green. Then you can plant outside or keep in a pot and bring it back in next fall. Mine was the same way but now the red leaves have finally all fallen off. Therefore, it may be necessary to place plants in a dark closet or cover with cardboard boxes. 2 Questions: What is the best thing to use for its 14 hour ‘blackness” period? I’m very curious to know how this works out so please get back to me on the outcome! Sounds like you have the perfect house plants. Havertown, PA. Hmmm, sounds like you’re on the right track. My experience is that once the leaves have turned red, you can put them out in full light. , I am based in north lincolnshire in uk. I want to know at this point is that, if there are already red leaves formed, can I still continue with the 14/10 light.. Will more leaves continue to turn red. Please tell me the correct pronunciation for Poinsettia. The stones will help elevate the pot so it’s not soaking in the water, and the water in the stones will provide the humid environment around your plants. So I hope you will try this and let us know what you learn. I had success last year with the same plant which was smaller but thought l would see more color by now. Adding too much and the result is fertilizer burn. Best of luck. It was introduced to the United States in 1828 and got its name from Joel Roberts Poinsett. It also has some white powdery fungus looking stuff on a few branches. I did it for two weeks or so but saw nothing. Restoring a healthy green Poinsettia plant from last year back to its original red color is no problem if you follow a few simple rules. It’s in a clay pot, that I think it’s time to get it a large pot. I bought 2 poinsettias at Christmas-time last year. I have never had this question before and I’ve never tried. I have repotted it and new shoots are growing all over. Prune back the plant to about 6 inches from the top of the container and repot. Hmmm, the black garbage back worries me. Jewelle, Hi Linda. I have been covering each plant with a light proof trash bag every night for 5 weeks, 14 hours a day – I’ve been using trash bags because the plants are too big for boxes. The biggest problem I see with the black plastic is that it can cook your plant. I put my poinsettias outdoors, in the Spring, when the night temps are 59 degrees or warmer. Thanks, I have it on my computer desk under fluorescent lights. I have heard it pronounced by newscasters, private individuals, nurserymen…all differently. . Yes. When we sold the house in 2003, the base of the plant was 11″ in diameter and it was 6 feet tall. My four year old poinsettia blooms all summer, brightening up the deck in Maine with small but very intensely red bracts. Protect the poinsettia from drafts, keeping it in a room with temperatures between 60-70F. Another possibility is that it is getting too much dry heat from the location in the house. Hi, ran across the thread; good info. I have repotted them twice and it’s time to do it again. Thank you. Many of these are fungal diseases that are caused by over watering. c/o The Joe Gardener Company I bought a few poinsettias five days ago. Growing a Greener World Nothing out of the ordinary, that is, until this year! I was gone a month, and when I got back, the person taking care of our plants and cat hadn’t watered as much as I had been watering, and it had lost some leaves. After the holidays and once blooming has ceased, limit the amount of watering so the plant can go dormant until spring. Hi, I have a poinsettia that is really two separate plants in the same pot. My pointsettia was dying and one day i had a cup of cold coffee in my hand was passing my plant and pour it in a day or two later it was back pretty and green did the coffee have some thing to do with it living it is so pretty now. 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. Do you think it will be ok if I stop covering them? If you use a green bag would that help instead of putting it in a dark room for x number of hours a day. I wish I could tell you what it is! 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. Any thoughts? can I use a florescent light during the time I am trying to get it to turn red again for there is some sunshine that comes through but mostly in evening I manage every thing but giving it the prouper lighting any suggestions will be ablige. Once again, limit watering in September/October and give the poinsettia bright daylight temperatures between 65-70 F. (16-21 C.) with total darkness at night with cooler temperatures of around 60 F. (15 C.). In this video I talk about my Poinsettia which is finally turning red just in time for Christmas. I have my plant in a big pot also, so I got a cardboard box 16’x16″ square and about 24″ deep and turned it upside down as a “dome” over the plant. Thank you. Joe Lamp'l is the Host and Executive Producer of the award winning PBS television series Growing A Greener World. I wonder if they’ll adjust and behave for the holidays. 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. Hi Joe – really useful, clear advice, thanks! So it will get bright light for the required time then go off to resume the total darkness stage. Use a closet or place a dark bag over the plant. i wanted bigger leaves so i’ve added miracle-gro indoor plant food spikes ( 6% nitrogen and 12% phosphate). I’ve never pruned it or reported it. It should put on plenty of new growth once it warms up. 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. I’ve not heard of this happening like this so quickly Heidi. In order to fully understand or appreciate this plant, it is helpful to take a look at where did the poinsettia come from. Odd question… I live in Michigan. Caring for Your Poinsettia Once you have brought your poinsettia home, the first step is to place it in a well lit position. I manage to keep my poinsettia alive since December. New growth should result from just below your cuts. How do I get its leaves to turn red for Christmas? I tried to retrieve my Golden Poinsettia tree, putting her back in the sun light area & fertilize every two weeks but sadly she never made it. However when I’m on holiday for a bit I won’t get to do this. Maybe if you use that easy-to-remove painters tape. Usually the foliage will recover its turgidity after a thorough watering, but… a few days later, the lower leaves begin to turn yellow and drop off. 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. After five days! However, cold drafts, allowing the leaves to touch a cold window, or more importantly, lack of decent light, can injure the leaves and cause premature leaf drop. Hope this information helps. Wounded stems of older plants develop soft rot and lodge. Well Jeanne, you get a gold star for being such a trooper. I have kept it near a glass window which gets 2-3 hrs sunlight daily. Cheers! Seriously I started talking to it to get it to respond but I think I will put it in an unused room and call all you who make it happen.. Based in Dublin ireland, we have 4 poinsettias since Christmas that still have their white bracts in place. But it is usually because of nutrient deficiency. It’s called ramification, and each time you ramify, in theory the leaves should reduce to about half their previous size (In theory). 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. Found your suggestions and tried to follow this them year. Place a black fabric bag or cardboard box over the plant every evening at sundown. The bracts on the poinsettia plant need a little help to return to their original red color year after year. Just make sure you keep it watered so it doesn’t try completely out. My guess is they will, just like poinsettias out in their native Mexico. 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 . 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? Or should I continue covering them for 3 more weeks? 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. What must I do to grow leaves without interrupting the bloom? Good luck Chris. 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. Eventually the leaves will start to drop off. Any advice? Thought I’d killed it but eventually it started sprouting again. If you want your poinsettia to turn red again, you have to force it. Otherwise, you can try removing them by hand. Happy Gardening! I had a tiny one last Christmas in the office and eventually all the leaves dropped off. I’m thinking you’ll get red, just won’t know how much. Today they are HUGE and full of leaves. 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. The oldest one has turned first, now the 2 year old one is turning, and I just noticed the stems turning red on the one year old plant. Good luck! Best of luck. You plant is trying to compensate for lower light levels. Can I use a winter shrub cover to make my poinsettia bloom? May the light green is better and its not getting enough light? The small yellow flowers are found in the center of the leaf branches. You are a person after my own heart. AS A GIFT I RECIEVED A BIG PIONSETTAS PLANT BEAUTIFUL! My grandparents built there house in San Clemente CA back in 1951. Pruning stimulates new growth. During the spring and summer you can keep it outside after the fear of frost has passed and temperatures at night are 50 degrees or warmer. It’s now about 2 ft tall and 3 ft across with a dense crown of leaves. None of the leaves are turning red but, I do have new growth. By: Liz Baessler Printer Friendly Version. Joe, I’ve been covering my plant for about 3 weeks now. 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. Water and medium shade (and keep out of direct afternoon sun) are key until it recovers over a week to 10 days at least. He always manages to get it to bloom for Christmas to even though it is rather willowy and about 5 feet high and across. I have to have the oddest Poinsettia. Celebrate the fact that your plant is growing tremendously. https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/. Hi Joe. Losing leaves could be because of too much water or not enough. They were in partial sun all summer, but it was a very hot and humid summer here in the northeast. I started covering the poinsettia with a thick black garbage bag inside the closet. Can I keep it there till it turns red? Remove it from its existing pot and check the roots. In order to get a poinsettia plant to turn red, you need to eliminate its light. Ive had a happy Poinsettia since last Christmas. I would love it if you did this and reported back on your findings. She had it in the house all the time! My question: I have to be away overnight occasionally over the next few weeks and will not be able to cover or uncover the plant while away. hi..i have started to put the plant in closet..but yesterday forget to put it..will this affect the process?. In November, one plant started turning red. Sustainable Living and Organic Gardening PBS Series, Plants need 14 hours of complete darkness each day to restore their holiday color. My Poinsettia has developed dark edges around the red leaves. Until then, keep in next to a sunny window and check soil moisture every few days and water lightly. Hi, I have a three year old poinsettia that has never been trimmed, puned, or pinched. Living in Florida is too late to trim these? If it were me, I think I’d take a poinsettia with some green leaves vs. one with very few leaves. If it lives thru this Christmas ,I will try doing what you are saying for next Christmas. Susan, 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. Be sure to give it plenty of water if you repot it. It’s been exactly 4 weeks and some bracts have started to turn red =). It sounds like you did everything right. I had my own landscaping business in a former life and still do yards for friends/family and our condo complex; a block of green I get to toil in regularly. Or just 14 hrs? I would not break the light / dark cycle until it’s fully red. This is the first time I tried “recycling” a Christmas poinsettia. My first choice at this point is to leave it alone (but keep doing what you’re doing) if you are keeping it indoors. I’ve read most of the comments; but my question is when is the best time of year to repot a poinsettia? They should look like small, fresh buds with red or green tips. Good luck Tracy. Thanks for the info on turning the leaves red again. Alpharetta, GA 30004. Any light leaks can break the cycle and your efforts to turn leaves red can fail. Still very healthy. It is too late to turn them red for this Christmas if that’s your hope Crystal. Hi give it a try and let us know how it works out. Happy Thanksgiving! It gets dark in my living room so I didn’t move it. Ask at your grocery store, the box is what they pack cartons of eggs in. Copyright 2020 The Joe Gardener Company, All Rights Reserved. I have never given it any special hours in light or dark. I have three poinsettias: a 1 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3 year old. Thanks. 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. Make sure it’s being potted up in good soil, and gets plenty of water but not to the point where the soil is saturated. From inside the house, don’t be afraid to park it in a sunny spot. Thanks in advance. Im a little unclear about the pruning process. However alot of the Red leaves are falling off. I’d try it Jennifer. I got her last November & she was full till June. You can also keep your plant the same way it is as a small tree. 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. 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. Also, the plant might be pot bound. It could be a number of things. I have waited until now – the end of May to consider pruning. Do I continue with the no light treatment for more red? i’m thinking the plastic will help keep the humidity as well. However last Saturday I returned after 3 days and both plants have a few red leaves!!! I kept them alive (albeit not in the best shape) and in May (I live in Mass), I moved them outside without trimming, etc. I’m going on holiday for just a week but am not sure if my poinsettia plant is going to be ok whilst I’m away? Not sure if this is better or worse. Just waiting to put in the dark. 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. Once this occurs, cut the stems back to four to six inches. Thanks. Water as necessary to keep soil moist but not soggy. I’m giving the 14/10 method a go this year. I PUT MY POINTSETTA OUTSIDE IN THE SUMMER ( I LIVE IN ILLINOIS) IT GREW BIG AND BEAUTIFUL BUT WHEN I DUG IT UP IT WILTED AND LOOKS TERRIBLE! However, starting in the evening, the plants must get complete darkness. Jenny, rather than spray the foliage, i would place the container in a saucer of stones and water. This pruning or shaping of your tree should start around May by cutting the whole top of your tree down to your 10″ leave-less trunk, unless you can already see some nice branches that are good to form into a nice tree. Not sure if this is better or worse. 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. John. At this point, forget the fertilizer, keep the soil barely moist and don’t worry if the leaves don’t look great for now. I doubt you could find a place that is “too” sunny from inside. Yay Paulette! When you say “bloom” I assume you are talking about turning the leaves red. I know I’m very late, but one could duct tape all the seams of a cardboard box to seal light out. Sorry for all the errors! I think that the closet is dark, but it’s possible that a little light gets in there under the door. I am beginning to get worried for the plant as the bags are starting to cause the leaves on the plant to grow impacted. Thank you. Several barely survived the pressure washing company’s strong chemicals. PLEASE TELL US EVERYTHING IS OKAY, DON’T LEAVE US HANGING! I have done NOTHING to them but water them. The weekend conundrum with your plant being at work will disrupt the light / dark cycle. Check the potting soil daily. and how important is it to keep the plant in 65 degrees starting september? Prune it to make its top rounded forming to a nice little tree depending on how big it is. The bracts will start to turn color in about four weeks, and continue if you carefully keep up the process. 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 . They are now over 8 ft high will they still turn color even with the large size? Very leggy plants tell me it needs more light. 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. There are a few poinsettia varieties that have variegated leaves, or leaves that continue to change color throughout the blooming period. Bacterial Stem Rot: Cuttings develop a soft rot at the base which moves upward quickly and kills the cutting. Is there any way to make leaves big? I don’t have anywhere dark and humid. And, do you think I need to tie the bottom of the bag? Hi Carol. The pot is outside so i was thinking of a black trash bag. Zak, I love your story. Poinsettias as Houseplants I’ll list a few that come to mind in no particular order. Wait until the plant leaves get a little soft and droopy before watering. I live in San Francisco and my bay window faces south. I hope I don’t kill them…. Mine is by patio door probably to much light. I’m not sure if I’ll try the 14 hours of darkness to try and get them red in time for Christmas. Best of luck. I always say that plants don’t read the books! The key is total darkness Amy. Defoliation and plant death follow. I have 10 poinsettias planted in front of my house. Thanks for checking in Paulette. Shane, I have tried to force poinsettias red, in the past. Congratulations on your successes, keep gardening. 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. When new shoots grow 3 to 4 inches long, use your fingers to pinch off the top 1 inch of each stem, leaving four or five leaves. I’ve had my poinsettia scene last December they where at my church and the pastor have me one it was dying but i nursed back to health it is growing good it’s all green the stems are red but the main branches are not and it’s growing tremendously but no red leaves what am i doing wrong plus i have seen little silver bus in the soil but they don’t seem to bother the plant our eat the leaves. It was late blooming this year as I was away in October and November last year and it turned red in February as a result. 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). And, I’m still ‘misting’ the leaves as it’s still hot and windy here. Once fall returns (and shorter days), reduce the amount of fertilizer, and bring outdoor plants inside. Hi. My plant has been in full sun for all these years. 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. Poinsettias are intolerant of the cold, so if the temperature is too low, it may begin to lose leaves. My fear is that at this point, your plant may drop most of its leaves, which is not what you want. Is this one you’ve had for a while or are you asking about one bought for the holidays that is yellowing and dropping leaves shortly after the holiday? I’ve been keeping them watered (but not too much) and they’re already turning green! Good luck. On average about six weeks is right. Yes, you could buy a plant for a few bucks and have all the red you want. 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). A little suggestion from Cathy in ct. It’s cute, though! That’s your biggest risk of leaving them outdoors at night. Just let mother nature handle it as the days get shorter it automatically triggers blooming as long as you do not have strong artificial light on at night. Should I move it to a warmer room and should I cut the limp leaves off or ?? This has being going on for at least 4 weeks or more. Good luck! Best of luck. Good luck. The plant is rather large and seems very healthy, losing a few leaves now and then just as it has done all year. I didn’t know I was suppose to cut it back. We have nice color forming on the new leaves. The window is pretty cold in the winter and they virtually bake in it in the summer. Yes, please do keep us posted. Scouting for nymphs is difficult and requires turning over leaves to look for the pests. Thanks Joe! Finally, choose a plant with as many coloured flower bracts as possible. How to Make a Poinsettia's Leaves Turn Red. plz do let me know.. Eventually the roots become so tightly encircled that they lose their ability to take up water and nutrients and the plant eventually begins to decline. At this point, I don’t think you would have enough time to achieve red leaves before Christmas if you started providing the right combination of light and dark. Advice please I there an explanation as to why I have poinsettias turning red….on their own????? Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden.
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