How do I get my Poinsettia leaves to turn red?

Indoor and house plants

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How do I get my Poinsettia leaves to turn red?

Postby smack » 04 Dec 2005 13:11


I've been religiously putting my poinsettia plant in a cupboard for a period every day since September in a desperate effort to get the leaves to turn red in time for Christmas, but to no avail. What am I doing wrong? I thought the trick was to starve it of light? :roll:
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Postby gardening_guru » 18 Dec 2005 20:04

Ponsettia is the common name for Euphorbia pulcherrima. All of those plants that we see at this time of year are varieties of this plant.
It is a lot of work to keep a Poinsettia from one Christmas to the next but if you like a challenge here are some notes to help you:-
After the leaves fall cut back the stems to about 4in high. Keep the compost just moist, almost dry. In early spring repot the plant replacing some of the old compost. Continue to water and new shoots will soon appear from where you have cut back previously. Select half a dozen of the strongest shoots to keep, remove all the rest. Feed regularly. At the end of September light control is very important: cover with black polythene from late afternoon to next morning ensuring the plant has been in complete darkness for 14 hours. Continue this process every night for 8 weeks, then stop the process and begin to treat normally again. You will be rewarded with those wonderful coloured bracts at Christmas again
Merry Christmas everyone from GG.
George aka The Gardening Guru
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