The Holiday Poinsettia – what to do with it now.

Poinsettia is actually a Mexican desert planting. So right there is a signal that this plant will require more attention. For now provide a bright sunny spot away from drafts, fireplaces and heating ducts. Allow the soil to dry between watering and don’t over water when you do water and don’t let it set in water. Every 4 weeks use all-purpose fertilizer. Either by end of March or mid-April trim you plant half it’s size while continue fertilizing. May should show you new growth, in June consider transplanting into a new pot no larger than four inches larger along with organic potting soil. Continue fertilizing but now every two / three weeks. Even consider placing Poinsettia outside in a warm sunny location, only after the threat of frost is gone. New foliage will continue to grow. By June’s end or July’s 4th prune again. Here is where it gets interesting in October Poinsettia will require 12-14 hours of darkness for 8-10 weeks, along with 6-8 hours of daylight, not direct just sunny. Some say place a box over or place in a closet. It is almost like putting your poinsettia to bed and getting it up in the morning. All the while regular watering & fertilizing every 4 weeks. After 10 weeks introduce poinsettia to longer periods of light. November and December are poinsettia normal flowering time. I am enthusiastic at this point.

Poisonous or Not! The Ohio State University and The Society of American Florists concluded “no toxicity was demonstrated”. Although, it did conclude that persons with latex sensitive could have allergic reaction from the milky fluid. Poinsettia is not for human or animal consumption.

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