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Poinsettia care by season

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Poinsettia – Euphorbia pulcherrima 'Gutbier V-14 Pink'
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray)
Euphorbia pulcherrima 'Gutbier V-14 Pink'

Poinsettia care varies based on the season. The following table provides tips on how to keep it healthy year-round.

Time of year Winter
(mid-November to late April)
Spring
(late April to mid-June)
Summer
(mid-June to mid-September)
Fall
(mid-September to mid-November)
Physiological phenomenon Blooming period (coloured bracts) Vegetative growth begins Active vegetative growth Flower initiation (flowers and bracts form)
Lighting As much indirect sunlight as possible Bright light (or filtered sunlight)

Indoors: sun

Outdoors: semi-shaded or sunny spot after a period of adjustment

Bright light in day (or filtered sunlight)

14 consecutive hours of total darkness a day for eight to ten weeks

Temperature

Daytime: maximum 20°C to extend life of bracts

Nighttime: ideally 16-17°C

About 20°C

Indoors: 20-24°C

Outdoors: take it outside when nighttime temperatures stay above 13 °C.

20ºC (If possible, temperature of 15-18°C once bracts are completely coloured, to intensify colour)

Watering

Allow the surface of the soil to dry out slightly between waterings

Cut back on watering after pruning

Water only often enough to prevent the soil from drying out completely

Allow the surface of the soil to dry out slightly between waterings

Outdoors: Watch out for under-watering

Allow the surface of the soil to dry out slightly between waterings

Fertilizing No fertilizer needed Start fertilizing when new leaves appear: use a balanced fertilizer (1-1-1 ratio, such as 20-20-20), once a month Soluble fertilizer (20-20-20) every two weeks

Soluble fertilizer (20-20-20) every two weeks

Starting early November, use a potassium-rich fertilizer (1-1-2 ratio, such as 15-15-30) to encourage the development of bracts and flowers

Pruning, repotting and cuttings  

Repot and prune in late April

Cut stems back by at least 1/3 of their height

Mist after pruning

Cuttings may be started from May to July

Second pruning in July or August, but never after September 1  

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