How to rebloom a poinsettia
A poinsettia is for life, not just for Christmas, and you can encourage this gorgeous plant to bloom throughout the year and then again for the next festive season (which we're sure will come round far too quickly, as always).
Your plant should be in full bloom when you receive it, where you'll enjoy its stunning red and green colours throughout December and into January. Come February, you'll notice that the central flowers and red bracts are starting to fade away – sad times! The stems will also become thicker and more stick like and you may notice a few leaves dropping or shrivelling. This is also a good time to feed your poinsettia with a liquid fertiliser.
When March rolls around (and yellow buds of daffodils are starting to appear), this is when it's time to get started with the re-blooming process. Be brave and cut your poinsettia's stems under the first leaf node, just below the bracts. Leave your poinsettia in it's pot, until you need to tend to it again in early summer.
Poinsettia's might not be the first plant you think of when you're basking in the summer sun in your garden, but this is when your plant has the best chance to rebloom, in time to shine for it's second Christmas. Re-pot your plant in June and place it outside in indirect sunlight, and now is the time to fertilise your poinsettia again with a mixture of half recommended strength. Come late August, it's time to bring your poinsettia back indoors and place it in a suitable location where it can enjoy a fairly consistent temperature.
September not only signals the start of a new school year, but is the time to really shake things up to get your poinsettia blooming! Give your poinsettia indirect sunlight between 8am and 5pm, but then put the plant in a pitch black room (or cover it with a bucket if black-out curtains aren't your thing) from 5pm until 8am. Starving the poinsettia of light during this time encourages it to produce that familiar red bloom. If you notice little change to the colour of the bracts, make sure the plant is in total darkness for 3 weeks (or longer), or try longer periods of darkness or more days of it being subject to darkness. We know, it sounds like torture for the plant but it will all work out in the end. Promise!
Are poinsettias toxic to pets?
Poinsettias are poisonous to pets due do the sap found in their leaves, which can weep when cut or damaged, so it's best to keep a poinsettia out of reach of cats and dogs.