Getting a Poinsettia to Rebloom : Darkness is the Key
Getting a Poinsettia to rebloom requires some dedication. With some effort and commitment you can get your Poinsettia to rebloom.
Your Poinsettia will not sustain its color and vigor all year. After a period of splendor the plant will fade and start to drop it’s leaves and brachts. This is a normal part of the life cycle of the Poinsettia.
The plant now enters a dormant period. You should cut back on the water (fertilizing was stopped in mid December) and allow the plant to rest from January/February to April. It should be watered sparingly and not fertilized.
In mid to late April the stems should be cut back to about 4 inches above the soil. This will enable you to produce a shapely plant. When getting a Pionsettia to rebloom we want a shapely plant for a more attractive appearance.
If you are going to repot the Poinsettia, now is the time to do it. You can repot it into a pot 1 size larger or back into the same pot with new potting medium to refresh the pot.
Once the plant has been cut back, and possibly repotted, The Poinsettia should be watered. After new growth appears, start fertilizing every two weeks.
In early July, the last inch of each stem should be pinched off to encourage the plant to bush out and remain compact. During the summer months when the temperatures do not drop below 60 degrees F, the plant can be left outdoors in a bright location, but not in direct midday sunlight.
In late August, the stems should once again be pinched off to keep the plant from becoming too large. By early September the plant should be moved indoors to a bright location. Do not pinch off the stems after September 1st or getting your Poinsettia to rebloom for Christmas may be in doubt.
Now comes the difficult part. It is not so much difficult as requiring a great deal of dedication. The critical step in getting a Poinsettia to rebloom is to keep it in absolute darkness for 14 hours each day. This darkness must not be broken by a room light, a street light, or any light or the bloom will be delayed. If a plant is placed in darkness at 5 PM it must remain there until 7 AM the next morning. During the day the plant must be put back into the bright light.
Some people accomplish this by placing the plant into a closet that will remain closed during these hours.
Another method is to place a black plastic bag around the plant and tie the top of the bag with a tie to keep out all light. In the morning, the tie is undone and the bag carefully lowered. At night the bag is again carefully raised and tied providing the darkness needed in getting a Poinsettia to rebloom.
In getting a Poinsettia to rebloom, this 14 hours of darkness must be provided without fail for a period of 8 to 10 weeks from late September to early December.
You should have not only a beautiful Poinsettia display, but also the satisfaction of having produced a colorful decoration for your home if you follow these steps for getting a Poinsettia to rebloom.