If there is a layer of yellow pollen covering the flowers, this means that the plant is more mature and will not last as long. I re-potted it in spring and fertilized it once. Avoid overhead irrigation. Yes, you should cut it back to a height of 4 to 6.” https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/ . I am so excited! It is the perfect opportunity to observe the direct impact your efforts will have by going forward with just the one. I would especially pay close attention to the uncovered plants for the first signs of reversion or loss of redness back to green. But that’s one of the mysteries of gardening I love so much. Hi Martha. Joe, I planted several poinsettas in 100 gallon pots on the back patio. I did it for two weeks or so but saw nothing. Then you can plant outside or keep in a pot and bring it back in next fall. Hmmm, the black garbage back worries me. You’re getting response so let’s keep at it. Crops like poinsettia are prone to whitefly infestations, so scouting for adults, nymphs and damage is worthwhile. The poinsettia is the canary in the coalmine of houseplants when it comes to carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, tasteless toxic gas, reacting well before humans show the slightest symptom. If I cover it with black garbage bag , from what time till what time is best to leave the garbage bag on the poinsettia plant? I didn’t cut mine back. Lesions on leaves … However, a diluted dose of liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks wouldn’t hurt for overall health, but don’t do it to try and boost the leaf size. I am not too great at pruning, the hours I work prevent me from doing the light dark routine. I’m giving the 14/10 method a go this year. DO I STILL HAVE TO COVER IT FOR 12 HOURS OR WILL IT TURN RED BY ITSELF. Let me look into this and see if I can offer any more information on this today. The bright petals of Poinsettias, which look like flowers, are actually the bunch of upper leaves of the plant, called bracts. Im a little unclear about the pruning process. Don’t choose any poinsettias where the coloured flower bracts are already turning green as the plant is older and the colour won’t last as long. Some of the new leaves are turning red (only half of the leaf), some times it seems the leaves are very light green so if we keep it in the box for a day they get a very nice dark green . Is it unusual for the white bracts to be still in place – only one or two of the leaves have dropped to date. I’m going to try this 14/10 thing this year. We have been light monitoring our poinsettia, from last year about, for five weeks (we should have started sooner, but we are newbies to reblooming, and are none-the-less very excited for the success we are seeing). In about eight weeks, the bracts should all be red, if you’ve followed the above guidelines. I’ve had my poinsettia scene last December they where at my church and the pastor have me one it was dying but i nursed back to health it is growing good it’s all green the stems are red but the main branches are not and it’s growing tremendously but no red leaves what am i doing wrong plus i have seen little silver bus in the soil but they don’t seem to bother the plant our eat the leaves. Help! To reiterate, I have not been putting the plant in the closet or anything for 6-7 weeks, and now some leaves are changing. I just kept watering it. I have a pointsett that still has red leaves. Protect the poinsettia from drafts, keeping it in a room with temperatures between 60-70F. If you are digging up from the ground, I’d repot after summer and with enough time before you bring it back inside, so that it has time to acclimate to its new home in a pot. I would not be worried about the humidity. Ro, I put the plant in a dark closest that is not used with a black plastic bag. But it is not cold-hardy for Tennessee. At this point, forget the fertilizer, keep the soil barely moist and don’t worry if the leaves don’t look great for now. I’m assuming you also live in an area that stays warm enough for your poinsettias to stay outside all year. At this point, there are a lot of red leaves and the new leaves coming in are red. Assuming this is not practical, do all you can during the week and lets see how this turns out. Please tell me the correct pronunciation for Poinsettia. Good luck. Thanks for the nice words. I am covering poinsettia daily with cardboard box. I would wait until February or early March to cut it back. My fear is that at this point, your plant may drop most of its leaves, which is not what you want. Also look for shiny, sticky honeydew on leaves. They were doing fine,; but all of a sudden many of the leaves are turning brown on the edges and curling up. I’m sure the environment may have changed drastically from the nursery so the plants may be trying to figure our their new environment. I doubt you could find a place that is “too” sunny from inside. Hi. Any ideas/tips?! It is actually the plants leaves that provide its color through a process called photoperiodism. No direct sunlight. The branches you want to keep should be spread evenly around the tree to make it look round and nice. Is this one you’ve had for a while or are you asking about one bought for the holidays that is yellowing and dropping leaves shortly after the holiday? i noticed a small increase in leaf size. If it lives thru this Christmas ,I will try doing what you are saying for next Christmas. Havertown, PA. Hmmm, sounds like you’re on the right track. I can’t come to work during weekend. You’ve likely heard the expression; “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. Good luck Amy. Depending on your zone, you want to wait to take your poinsettia back outside until the fear of frost is past and the daytime temperatures are 70 degrees F or warmer, with night temperatures not dropping below 50 degrees F. If the ground temperatures are ok and you have moved your plant outside but there is a cold snap, cover the plant with a blanket and then uncover it the next day before the sun heats up too much. Image by SharonDay. I have repotted them twice and it’s time to do it again. But I don’t know for sure. When you find your poinsettia wilting, with all its the leaves and bracts hanging limply like lettuce in the sun, and its soil is dry to the touch, it’s pretty obvious that it lacked water. I don’t know where you live but poinsettias are tropical and won’t survive a frosty night. Each was purchased at a different store a year apart. I’ll let you decide that. I am so happy. Once this occurs, cut the stems back to four to six inches. Thanks for any advice you can provide. Even a little light can affect the desired outcome. Next year I will pay put the box, in a warmer area and fertilize more frequently and will hopefully have better results! My concern is that if you try, and then when it’s time to remove the tape, I think it’s very likely it will damage the leaves. But it is usually because of nutrient deficiency. That's natural. However, if you added the fertilizer after the browning curled leaves, it was that the soil was too dry. However, starting in the evening, the plants must get complete darkness. It sounds like you did everything right. Sign up for our newsletter. I have a couple questions. Pick a slightly bigger pot, tease out the roots to break up any circular pattern, and freshen up the soil. Hope that answers your question. PLEASE TELL US EVERYTHING IS OKAY, DON’T LEAVE US HANGING! As for total hours, I think the 15 or 16 hours isn’t as critical as total darkness is, but the closer you can get to 14 hours the better. Once flower bracts have developed definite color, you can reduce the amount of darkness and increase its water. never bloomed again but it sure grew big! Or should I just leave it as is? I have the plant at my work. Several barely survived the pressure washing company’s strong chemicals. The leaves are wilted and limp. Usually the foliage will recover its turgidity after a thorough watering, but… a few days later, the lower leaves begin to turn yellow and drop off. Hi, I was wondering if the leaves turn dark green or light green before turning red. This has being going on for at least 4 weeks or more. Use a closet or place a dark bag over the plant. Mine is starting to turn red so I will a beautiful red plant for Valentine’s day! I don’t have anywhere dark and humid. Until then, keep in next to a sunny window and check soil moisture every few days and water lightly. At night, however, poinsettia plants must not receive any light for at least 12 hours. This plant might just need a makeover above and below ground. . I’ve read most of the comments; but my question is when is the best time of year to repot a poinsettia? I would give it a try. Have I understood correctly that after the red blooms fall off, I am to cut each stem down a bit? While I know not everyone has a garden she’d this is what’s working for me ..I set my pot on a bench in the shed in front of a window and place a brown paper sack over it for darkness and remove it the next day . I brought it inside in the beginning of October and started the 12 and 12, light and dark. Hi Linda. But sometimes they don’t, so that’s where the intervention comes in by trying to simulate ideal conditions. Will leave it outside now, still watering it in hopes something will happen. They are both now 3-4′ high. And 4 weeks just isn’t enough time to see the results. You can keep it as a houseplant if you provide it sufficient light. Mine is by patio door probably to much light. Happy Gardening! Just keep it happy as you have been doing and try again next year. It was late blooming this year as I was away in October and November last year and it turned red in February as a result. So Melvin, is this the first year in the containers? I would love to see the comparison if you kept only one covered going forward to continue the experiment vs. one that you now just leave alone. It gets dark in my living room so I didn’t move it. I’m inclined to say not that they’ve turned bright red, go ahead an let them go without the bags. Thanks for sharing this tip with us. You may also want to assess where you plant is located. This hopefully will give the humidity you say the plant should have at this time. Thank you for all of your wonderful work and advice. , I am based in north lincolnshire in uk. Hi Joe. I do not force any special light or darkness on them and they regularly drop their red leaves by June/July, making way for new bright green ones, and the new red fill in about October/November. It would be a valuable lesson for us all. These plants are in the same location every year when I bring them in. David, it may be time for potting up your plant. You have discovered one of the fundamental basics of growing a Bonsai tree! Once fall returns (and shorter days), reduce the amount of fertilizer, and bring outdoor plants inside. I gave them a little bit of miracle grow about 1 1/2 weeks ago. How can I keep them red? Good luck Chris. I water them only when quite dry. I did none so far and it is looking like a little tree now, with no leaves on the bottom ten inches or so of stalks. Q. Non-Blooming Poinsettia - I have one poinsettia that is about 2 feet wide and 2 feet high with about 20 blossoms on it.… Q. At what point do we stop providing 14 hours of total darkness? They both fill up the window that is their year round home, which baffles me. I don’t want to kill it, as it was given to me by a friend who died shortly after and it has sentimental value to it. The stones will help elevate the pot so it’s not soaking in the water, and the water in the stones will provide the humid environment around your plants. I planted my December 2015 poinsettia in a large pot and it has grown and done well this year. I know it’s a lot of work to work the system to turn your poinsettia leaves red by following the “book” guidelines. I’m SO impressed with myself, I’ve never managed this with a plant (except a spider plant but a toddler could grow those!). When you say the plant needs a humid environment during the day, can I put it on a window sill in a centrally heated room. I started in October with putting a big black thrash bag over my plants for 12 hours and giving them sun during the days. It’s now about 2 ft tall and 3 ft across with a dense crown of leaves. My question is – can I leave it in the dark for 48 hours (over the weekend?) Thanks Melvin. Not only has it still got red flowers , the leaves have also not dropped. Joe, I’ve been covering my plant for about 3 weeks now. So the downside is, you’ll be taking your plant home with you on the weekends. Good luck. Lastly, I advise that you remove the plant from its original container and transplant it to one a bit larger. I have to have the oddest Poinsettia. My guess is they will, just like poinsettias out in their native Mexico. Poinsettia plants can be kept outdoors in a protected sunny area during summer, if desired. so if you’re after the fullest plant, I would allow the new shoots to come on as well so you have more branching and leaves that will turn red in time for Christmas. What am I doing wrong? It’s been exactly 4 weeks and some bracts have started to turn red =). Yes, this will be more than is advised, but my hunch is that this will be ok for 2 days per week. Upon discovering this shrub, he became so enchanted with its bright red blooms that he sent some to his South Carolina home to be propagated. I just wanted to say I was so impressed by all the answers. If the exposure was short term the damage may be minimal. Poinsettia Getting Yellow Leaves – Reasons For Poinsettia Leaves Turning Yellow. I am very new to plants in general. I think SF’s micro climates has a huge impact on plants. Although it needs total darkness for hours a day, it also needs to compensate for that with strong light during the day. Celebrate your success or good fortune, and know that many people reading this will be jealous! Make sure that they are receiving sufficient amounts of light, water, and fertilizer to combat this shortage. This is the first time I tried “recycling” a Christmas poinsettia. However, it’s the end of October first of November and some are very leggy. It’s in a clay pot, that I think it’s time to get it a large pot. This will help me now because I used to leave it outside and it was dying on me did not now why now that u know ill make this plant live more and my wife will be even more happy. I suspect more will start to turn, especially since your plant is still very leafy and healthy. I got him/her 5 years ago when someone gave it to me for Christmas. The red leaves attract pollinators to the tiny, yellow flowers. The plant is rather large and seems very healthy, losing a few leaves now and then just as it has done all year. I truly love this plant, every day in the light and seeing the red, brings a new view. Water as necessary to keep soil moist but not soggy. That’s your biggest risk of leaving them outdoors at night. Additionally, poor nutrition or insufficient light can be at fault. Best of luck. A little suggestion from Cathy in ct. If you don’t want to move your pot inside, I would use cardboard instead, However, you really need “total” darkness. While you might get lucky, the protocol would not be satisfied using your idea. Thanks Joe. Is there any way to make leaves big? Is it too late to cut back to 6 ins to encourage a much fuller plant or just wait til July and just pinch out the new shoots. I TRYED DOING THIS ONE OTHER TIME AND IT DID THE SAME THING WHAT AM I DOING WRONT??? Hope this information helps. My first choice at this point is to leave it alone (but keep doing what you’re doing) if you are keeping it indoors. Then, usually around March or April, regular watering can be resumed and fertilizing can begin. Defoliation and plant death follow. I would love to keep it outside but the weather has been very cold here even in south Louisiana. Over-watering a Poinsettia Plant causes green leaves to fall off, leaving the bare stems topped by a few colorful bracts that you seem to have. Then make sure it gets plenty of bright light on Monday morning. But you need to prune the top removing branches especially the small ones that will not receive light since they are hidden from other branches. Is there any way to halt or slow the process or is it now too late for this season? None of the leaves are turning red but, I do have new growth. That would seal off all potential light. Thanks for your help. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! it would be super cool if this worked but you may need to be the one to try and let us know. Once the leaves have turned red (most of them) is it OK to leave in normal light again? LORI, DID EVERYTHING WORK OUT????? To correct the problem, you would need to break up the root pattern and repot in a slightly larger container. As for your poinsettia bracts turning red The research I’ve done shows that I need to keep it moist and do the 14-10 that you guys have been doing as well. I had a tiny one last Christmas in the office and eventually all the leaves dropped off. My pointsettia was dying and one day i had a cup of cold coffee in my hand was passing my plant and pour it in a day or two later it was back pretty and green did the coffee have some thing to do with it living it is so pretty now. Good luck. They’ll stay this way for several weeks, at least until after Christmas. Thanks for your advice, the update. And you may never need to prune them if you’re happy with the size and shape. I put my poinsettias outdoors, in the Spring, when the night temps are 59 degrees or warmer. Thank you!! Sounds like you have the perfect house plants. And the edges around few green ones are drying. John. What would be your advise in terms of pruning while the bracts are still present and should I pop them outside for the summer (Dublin temps are 12 to 20degrees centigrade). AFTER JANUARY I PLANTED IT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE IN A SEMI SHADED AREA. As for turning new leaves red again, following the guide in the article should do the trick. Yes, you could buy a plant for a few bucks and have all the red you want. As long as moisture remains in the saucer, you should be fine. Any advice? When you don’t have optimum light and heating arrangements you sometimes just watch the thing and say, “grow or die, sucka!” Maybe next Christmas I’ll try the 14-10 method. However alot of the Red leaves are falling off. I tried putting some used coffee grounds on it and then realized – chocolate flavored coffee grounds make your house smell like chocolate for a week. As for light, the plant needs light each day as well as total darkness too. But what you did is so much more interesting. It may be all red by Valentines Day and that’d be great. I was wondering re the chlorophyll deprivation that makes the leaves go red… do you think it would be possible to put black tape ‘stripes’ on the leaves and have them go partially red and remain partially green? Kerry, A sunny window is best as long as there are no drafts. I have a friend who has a poinsettia that he has kept alive indoor for decades. Why are my Poinsettia leaves turning yellow? https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/, https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/. The biggest problem I see with the black plastic is that it can cook your plant. On my overnights away, do you think it best for me to leave the plant in total darkness (covered by the box) – maybe 48 hours – or is it best for me to leave the plan uncovered and start covering it again when I get home? Just waiting to put in the dark. The plants are approx 18 inches high. Continue to cover at least one and not the day to day changes between it and the uncovered plants. Seriously…how can this be? Plants eventually become “pot bound” or “root bound” when confined to the same container as the plant grows. Hi Chris. https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/turning-poinsettias-red-again/. AS A GIFT I RECIEVED A BIG PIONSETTAS PLANT BEAUTIFUL! I have never had this question before and I’ve never tried. Bring it out again in the morning. Keeping an office plant at the office over the weekend in hopes of it turning red again can be a challenge. Just forego that this season and keep it in a protected environment where it is not exposed to frost of freezing temps. Sign up for our newsletter or blog, and updates on new episodes, videos and more! When we sold the house in 2003, the base of the plant was 11″ in diameter and it was 6 feet tall. Loss of the older leaves is fine as long as new leaves are growing and the plant looks happy. Then try again with the leaf turning process next fall. Thank you, I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. I’m going on holiday for just a week but am not sure if my poinsettia plant is going to be ok whilst I’m away? I was going out of town for the holidays, so I didn’t complete the eighth week, sorry! You need a good head start. They keep their blooms nearly all year long. In this video I talk about my Poinsettia which is finally turning red just in time for Christmas. We have been putting our pointsettia in light during the day for about 8 hours and in a box for the rest of the day/night. I honestly don’t know Joe if that little light is making the difference. I think one of the best things about gardening is the aspect of discovery. Thanks Paul and I’m rooting for you! Hi, I have a poinsettia that is really two separate plants in the same pot. plz do let me know.. Here is a link about turning your poinsettias red again. And, to ensure light doesn’t accidentally get it, hubby has offered to make some stakes to keep the cardboard in place (we live in a canyon with winds and critters). And, I’m still ‘misting’ the leaves as it’s still hot and windy here. It winters in the cool guest room with generally only natural light. The oldest one has turned first, now the 2 year old one is turning, and I just noticed the stems turning red on the one year old plant. We are enjoying them and I have been posting pictures on Instagram and on facebook for my friends and family. (When it comes to gardening, I have a “brown” thumb, but I’m trying to learn. I have never been to a website where there were so many thorough answers!!! I followed Joe’s article and got red leaves last year by Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving! Works like a charm. They have new growth shoots approx 4 inches high shooting above the white bracts. And by the way, if you do nothing, let us know what happens. I DID BACK SEVERAL MONTHS AGO TRIMMED IT. I have had them for about three or four years now. During the spring and summer you can keep it outside after the fear of frost has passed and temperatures at night are 50 degrees or warmer. It is indeed a lot of work to turn the leaves red. Thanks for checking in Paulette. I’m a newbie to caring for and reblooming poinsettias. My plant has about 5 stems and lots of new green leaves are budding already, all I have done is water it. Help! As for the silver bugs (“bus”), if they aren’t causing any damage, don’t worry about them either. Bacterial Stem Rot: Cuttings develop a soft rot at the base which moves upward quickly and kills the cutting. Thanks. I would love it if you would find a way to block the light and keep the experiment going. Mary Ellen Fattori I have waited until now – the end of May to consider pruning. Lessee, that was 2008 and I have tried many times to propagate the thing, each effort either getting squashed by a falling box in a move or just “failing to thrive”. We are now getting our second — and in some cases, third sets — of colored leaves. I would leave the plant uncovered and start again when you return from your trip.