Care of Poinsettias : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

Last year at Christmas I bought a beautiful poinsetta from my son's 4-h club. Somehow, I kept it alive all year and it looks lovely now, except its leaves are green, not red-what do you do to get the red leaves? I didn't think about this before, because I've never had a poinsettia that lived this long before! Also, its gotten top heavy-the leaves are nice and full at the top, but its not filled out in the bottom-do you pinch back growth like basil?

-- Kelly (, December 01, 2001


It's been a while, but 30 years ago we tried to bag them for a certain time period - from February to ??? (per instructions), but they never came back red. We did something wrong, but I have no idea what.

-- Rick (, December 01, 2001.

If you start "bagging" them, or putting in a completely dark place (ie. closet) in October, they should "bloom". About 5 or 6 hours of sunlight, and no more than 14 hours of dark. Looks like it's too late for this year, Kelly, but if you prune it back after Christmas, when it starts dropping it's leaves, and water very lightly, you should have it pretty for next year. You only have to do the dark thing starting in October, til it starts getting the red leaves.

-- Rheba (, December 01, 2001.

I've always heard that poisettias are poisonous. Not true according to rebeccasgarden. The e-mail article says they can be irritating, but are not poisonous,

-- Cindy (SE. IN) (, December 02, 2001.

Here in Brazil, poinsettias grow to 10-12 ft.

-- Randal (, December 02, 2001.

I have had poinsettas for over 5 yrs. and keep them from dying, believe it or not. I set them out after danger of frost is over, into my flower beds. They grow almost waist high, during the summer, but before frost, I put them in pots and bring them in-doors. Then of course you must put them into the dark for 14 hrs. a day, in bright sunshine during the rest of the time(6-8hrs.) during Oct, Nov., Dec. and water and fertilize. My problem is that they always lose their leaves when I bring them in-doors. By cutting them back, to 8- 10inches, they continue to grow, and bloom by Christmas or over the winter months. Does this happen to other poinsetta growers? BJ

-- Barbara J. Hammer (, September 30, 2002.

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