Turn Poinsettia red again

It is possible after the festive season, to turn a Poinsettia plant red again. Most people throw away their plant and buy a new one for Christmas. I have kept the Poinsettia from last year 2022. The plant turned into all green leaves three months time. Unfortunately no picture was made when it was all green. Then with some hard work, eventually it turned into another red Poinsettia.

In this blog post, I would like to share with you how to do this. I have made pictures of the process as well. One thing is for sure it requires a lot of consistency, patience and perseverance.

Took around two months to have some more red appearing on the leaves. I started doing this on 20 March 2023.

What do you need to do?

Poinsettias need long and daily dark periods to initiate flower buds and the coloring of the upper leaves or bracts. To do this, you will need to put the plant around 14 hours in complete darkness. And the remaining 10 hours put in daylight out of direct sunlight at one of the brighest windows. They need certain amount of light as well to develop the red colour.

A lot of sites mention the darkness between 12-16 hours.
What I did was around 14 hours, I had an alarm on my phone set at 5.30 PM to the plant into a cabinet. The next day taking it out at around 7.30 AM.
It doesn’t need to be in a cabinet. If you have a big cardbox that fits over the plant, that will work and is much easier instead of moving the plant around everytime. It needs to be in complete darkness, exposure to light, including artificial light will slow down the process.

As you can see in the picture above, it took around two months to have a bit more red appearing. Before that, smaller parts were turning red. You will see new small red leaves appearing everywhere, quite exciting! These small red leaves grow bigger, until they are as big or bigger than the green leaves.

When we went on holiday for a few days, I just put the Poinsettia in a room and left it at that. Yes, it won’t have the 14 hours of darkness, and that must have slowed down the process of turning red.

What about watering?

Poinsettia plants love just enough water and not more. Overwatering is problematic for them. What I do is testing with a finger into the soil. If the soil is damp, then no need to water. If the soil is dry, then I water it. The watering process is holding the plant under the tap and let it be filled with water until reaching the top and then I let the water drop out from the holes in the bottom of the pot. Once most of the water has come out, the soil is fully soaked. I reguarly test the plant for watering, mine turned out that once a week watering works.

Below you will find more pictures of the process of turning red:

Below you will find the process of turning red with photos of the whole plant:

In the last picture Day 251 the plant has been repotted twice. This is the second pot already. It is much bigger now than when we bought it, probably double the size.

So if you are bothered to do this hard work, go ahead and you can make your beautiful Poinsettia red again!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2024!

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