Tips for Hardy Gardeners: Caring for Poinsettias All Year Long
The most popular houseplant purchased by Americans is the poinsettia. "Americans buy about 35 million poinsettias each year for the holidays," says Tom Kasper. "It's also the most commonly disposed of houseplant." Shortly after the holidays, many poinsettias end up in the trash, but it doesn't have to be that way.
Some reasons behind their disposal may be a response to their leaves dropping. Don't panic. The leaves will drop. This is natural. "After they've lost most of those leaves you allow it to dry out, put it in a cool, dry, dark place," says Kasper. "Then around April, you bring it out, start to water it, and it comes back to life."
For those who want to go the extra mile and achieve maximum color in time for the holidays, place the poinsettia in a box or closet between 6pm and 8am starting on October 1st. "It needs to be dark," says Kasper. "You do this for about ten weeks, and it starts to form those colors."
With the correct care, a poinsettia can last well beyond the holiday season and bring color and joy for many years.