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This article appeared in the January-February 2002 issue of Horticulture Update,
edited by Dr. Douglas F. Welsh, and produced by Extension Horticulture,
Texas Cooperative Extension, The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas.

Coax Your Poinsettia
To Bloom Again Next Year

Excerpt from an article about the Ellison Tourism and Gift Center
which appeared in "Weekend Gardener," November/December 1996

ith patience, you can coax your poinsettia to bloom again for another year, according to Ellen Ellison of the Ellison greenhouses in Brenham, Texas. Here's how:

Christmas. Pick a colorful plant with tightly clustered yellow buds. Protect from hot or cold drafts, water when dry, and place in a room with enough natural light for reading.

New Year's. Apply all-purpose house plant fertilizer. Continue light, water, and fertilizer. Plant should remain colorful for many weeks.

Valentine's day. Do nothing unless your plant has become long and leggy. If it has, prune to 5 inches from the soil.

St. Patrick's Day. Remove faded and dried parts of the plant. Add more soil, preferably a commercially-available sterile mix.

Memorial Day. Poinsettia should be around 3 feet high. Trim off 2 or 3 inches from ends of branches, to promote side branching. Re-pot to larger container. Move plant outside . . . first to indirect, then direct light.

Fourth of July. Trim plant again. Make sure it has full sunlight. Slightly increase the amount of fertilizer. If you would like root cuttings, they will root easily if kept warm.

Labor Day. Poinsettia may have grown to 5 feet or more. Move indoors, but make sure it has 6 hours of direct light from an uncurtained window. Reduce fertilizer.

First Day of Autumn. Starting on or near September 21, give plant 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness and 11 hours of bright light per day. Keep night temperatures in the lower 60s. Continue to water and fertilize. Rotate plant each day to give all sides even light.

Thanksgiving. Discontinue day/night treatment. Put plant in a sunny area. Reduce water and fertilizer.

Christmas. Enjoy your now-new poinsettia !

Ellison Tourism and Gift Center is located at 808 S. Horton Street, Brenham, TX 77833. Telephone number is (979) 836-0084.