Do you treat your poinsettia as an indoor annual and dispose of it after the festive season, or do you choose to keep it as a houseplant and nurture it to try and promote reflowering next Christmas?
To keep your poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, alive until next year can be a challenge, but if you are up for the challenge, here are some steps to take.
Place it in a bright window after Christmas in a draught-free spot with a temperature of around 13-15°C. Water sparingly, typically when the surface of the compost has started to dry out, and start feeding with a liquid plant food that is high in potassium, such as tomato food.
In early May, remove the coloured leaves, which are called bracts, repot your poinsettia into a slightly larger pot with fresh, peat-free, loam-based compost, and cut all the stems down to about 8-10cm. Water and keep it in a draught-free spot out of direct sunlight. Apply fertiliser a few times a month throughout the summer.
Around September, move the Poinsettia to a room where it gets only natural daylight and is allowed to stand in total darkness after sunset in order to mimic short day length.
By late November, once flower buds can be seen, move it back to your regular living area. Once your poinsettia has started flowering, mist leaves daily to keep them looking their best for as long as possible, before starting the whole process again!
There are other methods of keeping a poinsettia alive until the next festive season. We’d love to hear your methods for keeping your poinsettia alive from year to year!