This Is How to Make Your Poinsettia Bloom Again Next Year (2022)

Poinsettia is a perennial shrub native to Mexico. It is most often grown as an annual for winter holiday display, but it can also be grown as a perennial garden shrub in regions where winter temperatures remain above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The familiar red specieshas been joined by even flashier hues thanks to hybridizers who have expanded the range of colors from the familiar scarlet to white, cream, salmon, yellow, and pink. Its blooms are a cluster of tiny yellow flowers surrounded by large brilliant (usually red) floral bracts, which are modified leaves.Also known as Mexican flameleaf, these plants are forced into bloom in time for the holiday season, and they require specific care to look their best into the new year and beyond.

Contrary to a popular myth, poinsettias are not seriously toxic to people or pets. At most, they are mildly toxic to cats and dogs who ingest the plant material.

Common NamePoinsettia, Mexican flameleaf, Christmas star
Botanical NameEuphorbia pulcherrima
FamilyEuphorbiaceae
Plant TypeShrub
Mature Size3–10 ft. tall, 3–7 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull, partial
Soil TypeLoamy, well-drained
Soil pHNeutral, acidic
Bloom TimeWinter
Flower ColorYellow
Hardiness Zones9–11 (USDA)
Native AreaMexico
ToxicityToxic to pets

Poinsettia Care

There is no need to discard your poinsettia come January—you can keep it healthy and vigorous throughout the year with the right care. The trick: Provide enough filtered sun, warmth, and water, and your poinsettia will thrive. If you're especially motivated and follow a regimen of specific care, your plant might rebloom next holiday season.

If grown as a landscape shrub in warm climates, poinsettia requires a sunny location and well-drained soil. Frequent pinching back of the stem tips will ensure seasonal color in winter.

This Is How to Make Your Poinsettia Bloom Again Next Year (1)

This Is How to Make Your Poinsettia Bloom Again Next Year (2)

This Is How to Make Your Poinsettia Bloom Again Next Year (3)

Light

Poinsettia do best when placed in bright, diffused sunlight, so place your plant near a sunny window where it will receive at least six to eight hours of diffused light per day. Although the plants can survive with fewer hours of light, they won't be as vigorous or as long-lived. Be aware that exposure to direct sunlight can burn bracts and leaves.

Soil

While poinsettias are typically purchased already potted from a garden center or nursery, if you're planting (or replanting) a poinsettia, choose a well-draining peat-based potting soil for best success. In warm climates (zones 9 to 11), poinsettias can be planted into the landscape, where they thrive best in a well-drained, acidic to neutral soil.

(Video) TURN Your POINSETTIA RED Again Next Year / Care Tricks And Tips

Water

Water your poinsettia whenever the soil surface feels dry to the touch. Saturate the soil completely until water runs through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, but do not let the plant sit in water. If the pot was wrapped in decorative foil, be sure to poke a few holes through the bottom to allow excess water to drain away. Overwatering is the quickest way to kill a poinsettia, and wilting leaves and rotted plant roots are usually signs of overwatering.

Temperature and Humidity

To keep your poinsettia in bloom as long as possible, maintain a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. A slight drop in temperature at night will not hurt the plant. However, cold drafts, allowing the leaves to touch a cold window, or more importantly, a lack of adequate light, can injure the leaves and cause premature yellowing and leaf drop.

Lack of humidity during dry seasons, particularly during winter, is an ongoing problem for most houseplants, including poinsettias. If your home tends to be dry, consider investing in a small space humidifier to increase humidity levels in the area surrounding your poinsettia.

Fertilizer

Do not fertilize these plants during their blooming period. When keeping the plant throughout the year, you can begin fertilizing in the spring at half-strength when there's no growth, but not until then. Feed every three to four weeks until the plant is re-established.

How to Get Poinsettias to Rebloom

If you want to grow your poinsettia throughout the year and force reblooming for the next holiday season, you must follow a very specific process throughout the year. Achieving rebloom is not easy, so don't be disheartened if you don't succeed on your first try. Follow this schedule for best results:

December to Early Spring

Water your holiday poinsettias, keeping them moist but not soaked. Then, starting in early spring, do the following:

  1. Gradually decrease waterings, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Be careful that the stem of your poinsettia does not begin to shrivel—this is a sign the plant is too stressed and is dying.
  2. In a week or two, when the plant has acclimated to this drying process, move it to a cool spot, such as the basement or a heated garage. Keep the temperature around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

May

In mid-May, do the following:

  1. Cut the stems back to about four inches and repot your poinsettia into a slightly larger container filled with new potting soil.
  2. Water well and place the newly-potted plant in front of the brightest window you have, and once again keep it at a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Continue watering whenever the surface of the soil feels dry and watch for new growth.
  4. Once new growth appears, begin fertilizing every two weeks with a complete fertilizer.

Summer

Come summer, move your potted poinsettia outdoors. Keep it in a partially shaded location and maintain your watering and fertilizing schedule.

  1. In early July, pinch back each stem by about one inch to encourage a stout, well-branched plant. If left unpinched, the poinsettia will grow tall and spindly.
  2. By mid-August, the stems should have branched and leafed out. Once again, pinch or cut the new stems, leaving three to four leaves on each shoot. Bring the plant indoors and place it near your brightest window.

October

Poinsettias are short-day plants, meaning their bud set is affected by the length of daylight. To rebloom, poinsettias need about 10 weeks with 12 to 14 hours of absolute darkness per day. You will have to artificially create these conditions and remain diligent. At the very start of October, do the following:

  1. Keep your plant in complete darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.—any exposure to light will delay blooming.
  2. Use an opaque box or other material to block out all light, including artificial light. Many people place their plants in a closet, but if any light gets through cracks or if you open and use the closet, the exposure to light will affect the bud set.
  3. Move the plant back to the sunny window during the daytime and continue watering and fertilizing.

November and December

About the last week of November, stop the darkness treatment and allow the plant to remain near the window. You should see flower buds at this point. Stop fertilizing around mid-December. Keep watering and treat your plant the way you did when you first brought it home in bloom. If all has gone well, bracts should begin to show color.

Types of Poinsettias

Besides the traditional red bracts, newer hybrids have been bred in a variety of colors, including shades of white, cream, yellow, salmon, purple, burgundy, and pink. Note that some unusual colors, such as blue, are produced using dyes, and if the plant reblooms, bracts will be their natural color.

At any given time, there are at least 100 different poinsettia cultivars to choose from. Some recent favorites (along with some long-time standards) include:

  • 'Christmas Eve': This is a long-time favorite with pure red flowers, known for its long color season.
  • 'Plum Pudding': This is the first purple hybrid introduced to the market.
  • 'Alaska White': As the name suggests, this is a pure white cultivar that blends well with red varieties.
  • 'Jingle Bell Rock': ‘This variety is a mixture of cream and bright red with glossy dark green leaves.
  • 'Candy Cinammon': This cultivar has dappled pink foliage, making for a softer appearance.
  • 'Golden Glow': This soft yellow variety is compact and known to be more heat tolerant than other forms.
  • 'Lemon Drop': This cheery variety has bright yellow bracts.
  • 'Gold Rush': This stunning variety combines shades of pink and gold.

Pruning

Poinsettias grown for a single season need little pruning other than pinching off faded leaves. Plants grown for rebloom, or transplanted into the landscape in mild climates, will benefit if they are pinched back frequently during the growing season to produce bushier plants.

(Video) How to make a Poinsettia bloom anytime

Propagating Poinsettias

Most poinsettias are hybrid plants that do not produce genetically reliable seeds, so they are usually propagated by rooting stem cuttings. This is best done by taking cuttings in early summer, as new growth is starting. Here's how to do it:

  1. Using sharp pruners, snip 3- to 6-inch tips from new green growth.
  2. Dip the cut end in powdered rooting hormone, then plant in a small pot filled with standard commercial potting mix.
  3. Enclose the planted cutting in a loosely secured plastic bag to hold in moisture, then set it in a spot with bright indirect light, but out of direct sunlight.
  4. After about a month, the cutting should develop roots. When you notice new leaf growth, remove the plastic bag and continue to grow the rooted cutting, repotting as necessary when it fills its pot.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Like many houseplants, poinsettias are susceptible to a variety of diseases and pests, including fungus gnats, whiteflies, thrips, mealybugs, and powdery mildew. If you notice signs of an infestation or illness, remove the affected area of the plant immediately and treat with an insecticide or fungicide until all signs of problems have disappeared.

Common Problems With Poinsettias

While caring for your poinsettia to encourage it to rebloom, be on the lookout for the signs of leaf and root rot problems described here.

Leaves Turning Yellow

Leaves will turn completely yellow or develop yellowness around the veins of lower leaves if the plant is stressed. There are many reasons for yellowing leaves:

  • The plant isn't getting enough magnesium.
  • The plant isn't getting enough molybdenum (an essential trace mineral) and needs soil pH to adjust to above 5.5.
  • The plant is being over-fertilized.
  • Powdery mildew is starting to form on the leaves and needs fungicide.
  • The potting mix is too acidic.
  • The plant is overwatered, suffering from low light conditions, or low temperatures.

If leaves have small spots with yellow halos, the plant has scab, which requires a fungicide application.

Stems and Leaves Turning Brown

Brown spots form on the plant in various places if it has canker, which might be helped by removing affected portions of the poinsettia. Stems will turn brown or black if the plant has root rot. Remove infected portions of the plant and try to repot the remaining healthier parts in clean soil and clean pots using sterile gardening tools. Apply a fungicide to the plant for protection.

Plant Leaves Falling Off

When a poinsettia defoliates, it doesn't spell good news and can lead to the death of the plant. It means that the poinsettia has serious canker or severe root rot from being underwatered, overwatered, or overfertilized. If some leaves are falling, the plant might also need a bit more light.

FAQ

  • Are poinsettias easy to care for?

    If you want to keep your poinsettia alive through to the next year's holiday and beyond, you will need to babysit the plant quite a bit. It's a job for an indoor gardener who appreciates a challenge.

    (Video) How to Care For Poinsettias (And Make Them Bloom Next Year)

  • How long can a poinsettia live?

    If you are dedicated to keeping your indoor plant on a strict schedule for reblooming, it can live for up to two years, quite possibly three, or even longer.

  • How fast does a poinsettia grow?

    An indoor poinsettia doesn't necessarily "grow," but it can rebloom. However, when grown in the garden, poinsettias are moderately quick growers and can reach between 10 and 15 feet tall.

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Poinsettia. Pet Poison Helpline.

  2. Poinsettia - Scorched Foliage. University of MassachusettsExtension GreenhouseCrops and Floriculture Program.

  3. Growing and Caring for Poinsettia. University of Minnesota Extension.

  4. My Poinsettia Has Lost Several Leaves. What is the Problem? Iowa State University Horticulture and Home Pest News.

  5. Common Diseases of Poinsettia. Texas A&M University Horticulture Department.

  6. Poinsettia Insect & Mite Management. Texas A&M University Horticulture Department.

  7. Poinsettia Diseases. Pennsylvania State University Extension.

    (Video) Poinsettia Care how to turn your Poinsettia red for Christmas

(Video) How to turn your poinsettia plant red

FAQs

How do I save my poinsettia for next year? ›

After all the leaves have fallen, store the plant, in its pot, in a cool (50 to 60°F), dry, dark area. Keep the plant somewhat on the dry side; water only enough to keep the stems from withering.

How do I get last year's poinsettia to turn red? ›

To make them turn red, you need to restrain exposure to light. As early as September, place it in a room that is exclusively lit up by natural light, and check that it stays in complete darkness for 14 hours on a 24 hour day. Do this for eight weeks!

How long does it take for a poinsettia to rebloom? ›

From mid-September onward, give the plant a minimum of 14 consecutive hours of complete darkness every single day of the week, from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., for eight to ten weeks or until the bracts start showing colour. Different cultivars may respond somewhat differently to this treatment.

When should I put my poinsettia in the dark? ›

Fall Care and Re-blooming Phase

To re-flower your poinsettia, you must keep the plant in complete darkness between 5pm and 8am daily from the end of September until color shows in the bracts (early to mid-December). The temperature should remain between 60 and 70 degrees F.

Will my poinsettia grow again next year? ›

No pruning or training is usually required, as poinsettias are usually discarded a few weeks into the new year. However, if you are growing on the plant for another year, you will need to cut back plants in May - see Caring for Older plants above. Poinsettias can be propagated by softwood cuttings in May.

Why are the leaves falling off poinsettia? ›

Poinsettias will classically drop their leaves if they are exposed to sudden changes in temperature, drafts or overly cool or dry rooms. They also will lose leaves and wilt in response to an extreme need for water. When choosing a plant, pick a healthy, full one with no discoloration on the foliage.

Will a poinsettia come back after losing its leaves? ›

In cooler climates, poinsettias need to be kept indoors, as freezing temperatures will kill the plant. Poinsettias are known for their colorful red bracts, but they are also known as temperamental plants. Dropped leaves are common, but with proper care, poinsettias with fallen foliage will recover their health.

How do you keep a poinsettia after Christmas? ›

Place your poinsettias where they will receive at least 6 hours of indirect, but bright, sunlight each day. In mid-April pinch back the stems to 6-8 inches and place the plants in a sunny location. When new growth begins, you may use a liquid fertilizer to ensure the plants get enough minerals, especially calcium.

Will my poinsettia turn red again UK? ›

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. Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) need total darkness, for 14 hours each day, starting about eight weeks before you want to display them.

Why didn't my poinsettia turn red this year? ›

In order to get a poinsettia plant to turn red, you need to eliminate its light. Flower formation is actually triggered by periods of darkness. During the day, poinsettia plants require as much bright light as possible in order to absorb enough energy for color production.

Is a poinsettia dead when all the leaves fall off? ›

Color is initiated by exposing the plants to complete darkness for 12 hours a day, starting in October. After the "blooming" period of six to eight weeks, poinsettias often lose their foliage as they enter dormancy. Many people cast the plant away, mistakenly believing it has died.

What is the life expectancy of a poinsettia plant? ›

How long can you keep a Poinsettia alive? That depends on how well you follow the tips above, but on average a well-cared for poinsettia should last about 4-6 weeks until the flowers start to fall off and you can keep the plant healthy and alive for many months after the holidays come to an end.

How far back do you cut poinsettias? ›

Prune off the old stems in late winter or early spring by cutting them back to 4 to 6 inches in height and leaving one to three leaves on each stem. This forces new growth to appear at the leaf axis and paves the way for a full plant that can support many blooms.

Why does my poinsettia not flower? ›

Flower formation is actually triggered by periods of darkness. During the day, poinsettia plants require as much bright light as possible in order to absorb enough energy for color production. At night, however, poinsettia plants must not receive any light for at least 12 hours.

Will a poinsettia come back after losing its leaves? ›

In cooler climates, poinsettias need to be kept indoors, as freezing temperatures will kill the plant. Poinsettias are known for their colorful red bracts, but they are also known as temperamental plants. Dropped leaves are common, but with proper care, poinsettias with fallen foliage will recover their health.

How do you overwinter poinsettias? ›

Avoid exposing the plant to temperature below 55° or to hot or cold drafts, which may cause premature leaf drop. Place poinsettias in natural light near a sunny window in the winter, leaving some space between the leaves and the cold window pane. Water only when the soil is dry to the touch.

Do poinsettias need a dormant period? ›

After about half of the poinsettia's leaves have fallen off, you should gradually start to reduce watering frequency. Your goal is to allow the soil to dry out gradually in preparation for dormancy. The colorful bracts will be the last to fall off. When the soil is completely dry, the plant is now in a dormant state.

Videos

1. How do you get a poinsettia to rebloom?
(Ask About TECH)
2. what to do with poinsettia after bloom?
(Learnagro - Deepak Bhandari)
3. How to save holiday poinsettia flower plant for next year to bloom again.
(Orchid and Kitties)
4. POINSETTIA CARE PT 2: HOW TO RE-BLOOM POINSETTIA'S FOR NEXT WINTER & 4 SEASONS OF CARE TIPS
(Brads Greenhouse & Gardening)
5. Tutorial-Let's make Poinsettia!!!
(Carol’s Craft Cottage)
6. Poinsettia care tips - how to keep your poinsettia looking good this year and next
(United States Botanic Garden)

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