Updated at: 03-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

During the holiday season, you’ll see a lot of poinsettias. Because of their vibrant hue, they’re a great choice for the holiday season. Poinsettias, which dislike cold weather, benefit greatly from the shorter days of winter, and as a result, they have become the traditional holiday plant.

Poinsettias’ Origins

Poinsettias had quite the reputation even before they arrived in the United States. Poinsettia sap was used to treat fevers in the 14th and 15th centuries. In addition, the bracts’ hue contributed to the creation of dye. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, happened upon a bright red shrub by the side of the road one fateful day in 1828. Since then, Poinsett has grown the plant in his greenhouse in the South Carolina countryside after bringing cuttings from the wayside shrub back with him. When the Euphorbia pulcherrima became popular in the United States, it was given a new name by gardener William Prescott. Prescott gave the plant Poinsett’s name after recently studying Poinsett’s discoveries.

What You Need to Know About Poinsettias

  • During the six weeks running up to Christmas, sales of Poinsettias alone bring in more than $250 million for the US economy.
  • Canada and the United States’ most popular potted plant is the poinsettia.
  • More poinsettias are grown in California than in any other state in the union.
  • Eighty percent of poinsettia sales are thought to be made by women, according to research.
  • Poinsettias come in nearly a hundred different kinds.
  • Poinsettias aren’t always red! Pink, white, and even marbled are some of the colors available.

We’ve put up a guide to caring for a poinsettia. Take a look at the answers to these questions by clicking one of the links provided below.

What is a poinsettia?

Euphorbia pulcherrima, or Poinsettias, belong to the Spurge family, one of the largest plant families. These plants have simple flowers and a wide range of leaves.

Growing and caring for poinsettia | UMN Extension

What should I look for when selecting a poinsettia?

There are a few things to keep in mind when making your final decision on a poinsettia. Colorful foliage and bracts should extend from the tip of the stem to the base of the plant. The plant should be full on all sides, with no drooping bracts or leaves. The stiffness of the stem is a good indicator of the product’s longevity. Last but not least, take a look at the poinsettias’ yellow centers. Try to choose plants that have not yet opened their flowers, as this will ensure a longer-lasting plant..

What kind of soil is best for poinsettias?

Poinsettias can be grown in regular potting soil, but it must be loose in order to drain well. Water will be retained in the soil, which may lead to root rot if the soil is unable to drain correctly.

Can you plant poinsettias outside?

This plant can be grown outside, however it is quite vulnerable to frost. As a result, when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you must bring your poinsettias indoors. Poinsettias thrive outside in temperate settings, where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold.

Where Did the Poinsettia Come From?

Take a look at where the poinsettia comes from in order to truly appreciate this plant. In Central and South America, the poinsettia is found. In 1828, Joel Roberts Poinsett introduced it to the United States. As the first American ambassador to Mexico, Poinsett was fascinated with botany. This shrub’s vivid red blossoms were so alluring to him that he sent some back to his home in South Carolina, where they were successfully cultivated.

What Makes Poinsettias Turn Red?

What causes the color of a poinsettia to change? Photoperiodism is the process through which a plant’s leaves change color in response to the sun’s rays. Depending on the amount of light or lack thereof, this mechanism causes the leaves to turn red (or pink, white, and other shade variations). Bracts, rather than flowers, are what most people think of when they think of flowers. On the middle of the leaf branches, you’ll find a cluster of yellow flowers.

How to Make Poinsettia Turn Red

A poinsettia plant will turn red if its light is cut off. Periods of nighttime darkness are essentially what start the creation of flowers. As much bright light as possible is necessary for poinsettia plants to absorb enough energy for color synthesis during the daytime. Poinsettia plants, on the other hand, must be kept in darkness for at least 12 hours at night. If this is the case, a dark closet or cardboard boxes may be essential to protect the plants.

How Do Poinsettias Change Color - Krostrade

Make a Poinsettia Rebloom

The poinsettia life cycle must be repeated in order to for the plant to bloom again. Reduce the amount of watering the plant receives after the holidays and once the blooming has finished so that it can rest until the following spring. In March or April, regular watering and fertilizing can begin again. Repot the plant after pruning it to a height of about 6 inches (15 cm) from the container’s rim. Poinsettias can be kept outside in a protected environment during the summer if desired. Until the middle of August, pinch out the tips of new growth to encourage branching. Reduce fertilizer use and bring indoor plants inside once fall arrives (and the shorter days). Give the poinsettia a daytime temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 21 Celsius) with nighttime temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 21 Celsius) between September and October (15 C.). In order to enhance color development, you can decrease darkness and increase water in flower bracts.

What temperatures do poinsettias tolerate?

It is best to keep poinsettias away from any cold or warm drafts at 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Never place a poinsettia in an area where the temperature could fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

How often should poinsettias be watered?

Keep a close eye on your poinsettias and water only when the soil is dry to the touch. Overwatering should be avoided at all costs. Remove any standing water from the saucer if the poinsettia’s pot has one.

How much water should poinsettias get?

Watering poinsettias is a delicate balancing act, as it is with many other houseplants. You should only water until the soil is saturated, not until it is entirely dry. Root rot can occur if the plant is left in water for an extended period of time. Unless your poinsettia’s pot has holes in the bottom, don’t overwater it.

How much light do poinsettias need?

“Photoperiodism” is the term used to describe the process by which the color of a poinsettia’s bracts is formed. Twelve hours of darkness for at least five consecutive days is required for the poinsettia to change color. Poinsettias need at least six hours of indirect sunshine a day to maintain their brightest color after the color changing process.

How often should poinsettias be fertilized?

It is not recommended to fertilize poinsettia plants while they are in bloom to avoid damaging the blooms. A half-strength fertilizer can be used every 3-4 weeks throughout the spring, summer, and fall to keep them healthy. Off-season regrowth will be aided by this.

Are poinsettias perennial?

A direct response to this question is not possible. Poinsettias are technically annuals, but that doesn’t mean they won’t return year after year with a little TLC. A poinsettia’s survival depends on the temperature of the surrounding environment. Poinsettias thrive in warm regions, and may return in full force each year. The plants need to be protected from frost in order to grow and thrive.

How do I get my poinsettia to rebloom?

For eight to ten weeks commencing in early October, the plant should be kept in total darkness for 12-14 hours each night. Depending on where the poinsettia is, this may necessitate relocating it to an area that is both dark and covered with a box. During the “reblooming” stage, the poinsettia also requires direct sunlight. You should place it in an area that receives 6-8 hours of indirect, but bright sunshine each day to keep it healthy. November or December depending on different plants, it should be in full flower by that point.

Why do poinsettias turn yellow?

A variety of factors might cause a poinsettia to turn yellow. Consider the source of the problem while making a diagnosis. Water and/or light deficiency is more likely if the roots are healthy. The poinsettia may have root rot if the roots are discolored, which is usually caused by overwatering.

Why do poinsettias lose their leaves?

Many causes could be at play if your poinsettia is losing its leaves. Poinsettias have a low tolerance for cold and may begin to lose leaves if the temperature drops too low. Poor diet or lack of sunshine can also be to blame.

Why do poinsettias’ colors fade?

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your poinsettia’s color has faded. This could be due to the plant’s age, but it could also be caused by a lack of light or very heated temperatures.

Poinsettia Turning Red - YouTube

How do you prune a poinsettia?

Pruning a poinsettia in February or early March is the optimal time to do it. Pruning should be done such that the stems are just 4-6 inches long. Each stem should have no more than 1-3 leaves.

Are the red parts of the poinsettia flowers or leaves?

The colored component of the poinsettia (often red, but can be different colors) is actually a group of bracts, or modified leaves, rather than a flower. Cyathia, the little yellow flowers found where the bracts meet in the center, adorn the area. Once the pollen is expelled from these blooms, the bracts will fall to the ground as well.

What Affects the Color of Poinsettias?

Even though poinsettia leaves fade in color, the fading process is not natural. Certain factors can affect the rate at which these plants change color, and these can be controlled to some extent.

You must understand photoperiodism in order to completely comprehend the progressive shift in their colors. Basically, it refers to how plants behave when they are exposed to sunlight or other sources of illumination.

Leaf color changes from green to red if there is not enough light available. Pink or white, for example, can also be used as a lighter tone of color.

How to use light to manipulate poinsettia’s color

Poinsettia bracts can turn green if they are exposed to light, despite the fact that you might assume that denying them that illumination would revert them back to red. That is not the case, however. Your plants will wither if they don’t have access to light to absorb energy.

The plants need both light and darkness to thrive, so you have to strike a balance. Mornings are the best time to feed them, but keep them hidden at night.

If you think it’s okay to leave them alone because the sun won’t be able to reach them at night, you’re mistaken. So you need to keep them hidden in complete darkness and even cover them if necessary.

Your poinsettias should be kept out of direct sunlight for 12 to 14 hours straight, with no exceptions. It is important to keep in mind that even one missed step can negate your entire work. Begin this procedure two months before you plan to place the plants somewhere in your home or business.

How to turn poinsettia’s color back

In addition to the light strategy, there are additional ways to revive your poinsettias’ vibrancy. Pruning is one of them. Remove the faded ones if you want to allow the new growths a chance to shine.

After that, you can either wait until they outgrow their prior containers before transplanting them into a larger pot, or do it as soon as they do. You have a responsibility to help your poinsettias develop as well as possible.

Temperature is an additional component to consider in addition to light exposure and overall plant health. Freezing temperatures are deadly to plants’ color as well as their existence. Keep the temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

What Are the Benefits of Planting Poinsettias and Other Plants in a Mini Greenhouse?

Growing plants in a greenhouse has a number of advantages, but many people are reluctant to give it a try due to the high expense of purchasing or building a greenhouse. Mini greenhouses, on the other hand, are a more cost-effective option that yet offers the same advantages as a standard greenhouse.

Beautiful flowers and other crops can be grown in it. Planting in a tiny greenhouse also has the following advantages:

Great for starting seeds

Seeds can be started in a greenhouse before being transplanted into your garden. Greenhouses are ideal for seedlings because they provide constant warmth and security. Don’t put them in the garage, cellar, or mud room.

Protect your plants from pests

Infestations of pests can be detrimental to the health of your plants. It is possible for a variety of creatures and critters to be persistent invading your garden and doing damage to your plants. In order to keep your plants safe, you can keep them in a greenhouse and put screens and traps in place.

It's time to coax poinsettias into color and bloom for December - oregonlive.com

Extend your plants’ growing season

Gardeners utilize greenhouses for a variety of reasons, including extending the growing season. Increase your yields, and broaden your selection of plants. Heating and cooling systems, grow lamps, fans, and more can all be used in a greenhouse to fine-tune the growing conditions. You may adjust the temperature of your greenhouse to suit your plants’ needs, whether that means heating it up or cooling it down.

The Bottom Line: How Do Poinsettias Change Color?

Poinsettias change color due to light, even though there are various theories. As a matter of fact, this does not mean that you should only concentrate on this one area. Don’t overlook the Christmas Star’s nutrient requirements.