Nothing says Christmas time more than those bright red poinsettias!  They grace our homes during that festive season, bringing holiday cheer, but did you know that you can keep those gorgeous blooms alive and thriving all throughout the coming year.  With a few tips and tricks, your festive poinsettias will bloom again and again.

First, somewhat unexpectedly, poinsettias are a tropical perennial plans that can often be found in the wild, growing to as much as ten feet tall!  Knowing that they are tropical plants, it is important to remember that these blooms need a lot of light, high humidity, and warm temperatures to thrive.

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Second, after the blooms have faded in the spring, the poinsettia plant will move into a dormant phase.  During this time, it is best to prune the plant back to around 6” tall.  This is also a time when the plant requires less water, and likes to be completely dry between waterings.

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Third, during the summer months, you will begin to see some growth.  Replanting into a larger pot is often a good idea, and you should begin to feed your plant about every two weeks with a good quality fertilizer.  During the warm months your plant will thrive outdoors, but should be brought inside when the temperatures begin to hit the 50s.

Next, in order to get your poinsettia to bloom during the holiday season you will need to begin a regimen of dark periods during the month of October.  These flowers begin to bloom in response to shorter periods of daylight.  In order to force the blooms, put your plant in complete darkness for about 12 hours per day.  During the middle of the day make sure to uncover your poinsettia so that it does continue to receive 6 hours of sunlight per day.

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Finally, after a month of dark treatments, when you see buds, you can discontinue covering the plant with darkness and move out to enjoy.

By following these simple tips and trick you will be able to enjoy your lovely poinsettias all year round.