Updated at: 04-01-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

If you’re a novice gardener, you may want to steer clear of this specific challenge, which requires a fair amount of skill.

I’m going to present you with a step-by-step instruction so that your propagation effort will be met with success now that you’ve been cautioned that cultivating these festive plants isn’t without its obstacles.

Wait for New Growth

You’ll need to start with a live poinsettia and wait until spring or summer to make cuttings.

Cuttings should be taken from young, active growth, according to Curtis W. Smith, Ph.D., an Extension Horticulture Specialist at New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service.

It is possible to start this project in the middle of winter, but your success rate will be lower than if you started it in the summer.

Taking poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) cuttings - YouTube

Gather Your Materials

It’s best to gather all of your materials together before beginning any work, just to be sure you have everything you need.

You’ll need the following items:

  1. A poinsettia plant in full bloom.
  2. Pruning shears or scissors that have been sanitized and sharpened.
  3. A seed starting flat or a tiny nursery pot that has been sterilized.
  4. Potting soil or a blend of vermiculite and perlite or coconut coir as a growing medium.
  5. A clear plastic bag or humidity dome to protect the plant.
  6. A spray bottle or mister.
  7. Rooted cuttings can be planted in 4- or 6-inch pots.
  8. Rubber gloves for gardening or elsewhere (optional).
  9. Hormones that aid in the development of roots (optional).

As I walk you through the seven steps, I’ll explain what you should do with each of these objects. Before you get started, read through the full process.

Propagate Poinsettias in 7 Steps

It’s time to start propagating now that you’ve waited for the right time and acquired your resources. Ready? There we go!

1. Protect Your Skin and Eyes

You may want to put on some gardening gloves or rubber dish gloves before you get started. When poinsettias are cut or damaged, the white sap that is emitted can be extremely unpleasant to those who are allergic to latex.

Regardless of whether you are allergic to latex, avoid getting sap in your eyes at all costs. As an added measure of protection, you can consider using goggles to shield your eyes from flying debris.

Now that we’ve addressed the issue of safety, it’s time to get to work.

2. Choose Your Containers

The next step is to get your pots ready for the cuttings you’ll be putting in them.

For the first four weeks of the cutting’s life, these containers don’t need to be excessively large.

Seed starting flats, like these from SOLIGT, can be used to start your young poinsettias.

Once your cuttings are in situ, you can keep them moist with the included humidity domes.

Small nursery pots or plastic cups can also be used to start them. Reusing nursery pots is fine, as long as you properly sanitize them.

How to Propagate Poinsettia Plants from Cuttings | Gardener's Path

3. Add Growing Medium

Floral foam or peat moss is used by commercial poinsettia growers to start their cuttings.

This means you don’t need damp soil to start the cuttings – in fact, you don’t need soil at all to start the cuttings.

Floral foam and sphagnum peat moss are both environmentally unfriendly, therefore I recommend using a sterile seed starting mix or coconut coir instead of either.

Sphagnum peat moss can be replaced with coconut coir, which is better for the environment.

Prococo’s Chips-N-Fiber is a high-quality coconut coir product that’s free of germs and fungi, making it suitable for your new plants. The fact that data is compressed further reduces the amount of storage required.

Vermiculite and perlite can also be used as an alternative.

If you’re beginning your seeds in a flat like the one pictured above, you don’t need to add any more growing medium to it.

Depending on the length of your cuttings, you’ll need a potting medium that’s at least two to three inches deep in your selected container.

The potting media should not be wetted. Until their roots become established, your infant Christmas flowers will get their water from the leaves, not the soil. Below, I’ll go into more depth about that.

Make holes in the potting mix where you plan to place your cutting. Finger, pencil or chopstick are all acceptable tools.

4. Take Cuttings

Taking cuttings from your plant now that your containers have been filled with your choice medium is the next step.

One of the branches should have a three- to four-inch chunk of stem cut from it.

Be aware of the sap while using your fingers to pinch off a cutting if that’s what you prefer, though.

Afterwards, remove the bottom leaves by pinching or snipping them off using a pair of scissors. In addition to growing from the stem’s base, this will aid in the formation of roots from the leaf nodes.

To ensure that the cutting receives the moisture it needs from the foliage, leave at least two or three leaves on top of it.

5. Apply Rooting Hormone

This section can be omitted. Use a rooting hormone if you want to go the additional mile to help your cuttings develop new roots.

Fill up any exposed stem and lower leaf nodes with a powder or gel before applying to cutting’s bottom side.

If you don’t have a large enough container, you can pour a little bit onto a piece of scrap paper and dip the stem into this lesser amount of rooting hormone before inserting it in the container.

This may extend the life of your rooting product.

Make sure the cutting is inserted into the hole in the growing medium, and that the bare leaf nodes go all the way into the medium, after administering rooting hormone

You can avoid rubbing off the rooting hormone by inserting the stem into soil or coir with pre-poked holes.

I’d propose Olivia’s Cloning Gel as a rooting hormone recommendation. So you don’t have to worry about inhaling it because it is gel rather than powder.

Arbico Organics sells Olivia’s Cloning Gel in two-, four-, and eight-ounce bottles.

6. Place in a Bright, Humid Location

It’s time to spray your cuttings now that you’ve inserted them all into your growing medium.

You can use a mister or spray bottle to apply a light mist to the new plants’ leaves.

The plastic spray bottle can be used, as long as it has never been used for cleaning or storing chemicals or cleaning goods.

However, if you prefer a more aesthetically pleasing method of caring for your baby poinsettias, you could appreciate using a glass spray bottle.

A word about water: it’s possible that the quality of your water has an impact on the survival or death of your young plants. Many plants are susceptible to toxins that persist in municipal water, as well as bacteria and minerals found in well water, and can be damaged by both.

I always use filtered water while watering my indoor plants.

It is best if the humidity level is between 90% and 100% for poinsettia cuttings to root.

When it comes to providing your newborns with the high humidity they need, you can either put them in your greenhouse or keep them under a humidity dome.

To make your own little humidity domes, use clear plastic bags to start cuttings in small nursery pots or plastic cups.

Choose a location where your plant kids will receive bright indirect light, but not direct sunshine. A grow light can brighten up the interior of your home if it is currently too dark.

The poinsettia-to-be are getting the moisture they need through their leaves – they don’t have roots yet – so don’t water them. Instead, mist them every day.

Okay, thus far, this seems like a simple task, right? This is where things get a little dicey.

While high humidity is necessary for poinsettia cuttings to thrive, it also increases the risk of some of the bacterial and fungal diseases to which these plants are vulnerable.

Poinsettia growers have found a workaround for this problem by leaving a few fans on low all the time (which can also help strengthen the branches).

As long as your greenhouse is well-ventilated, it shouldn’t be too difficult to maintain these plants in a humid atmosphere.

When it comes to indoor environments, it can be more difficult to maintain both high humidity levels and proper ventilation simultaneously.

In the event that some of your cuttings don’t make it, it’s a good idea to take more than you need.

Space your young plants apart from each other if you’re growing more than one so that air can circulate and so that illness can’t spread if one of them gets sick.

Using a fan on a low setting will also assist circulate the air in the room.

Your tiny poinsettias should thrive and sprout new leaves if all goes according to plan. The roots of poinsettia cuttings grow in roughly ten to fourteen days.

7. Pot Your Rooted Cuttings

Your seedlings should be ready to be transplanted into pots in about four weeks. Avoid damp feet by using well-draining potting soil and pots that have drainage holes during the transplanting process for Christmas flowers.

Three cuttings can be placed in a seven- to eight-inch pot, or one can be placed in the center of a four-inch pot.

You can now water your plants as normal after transplanting.

Make sure the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot are completely filled with water. Between waterings, the soil should feel dry to the touch.

Poinsettias can also be grown outside in partial shade if your region is warm enough to keep temperatures over 50°F.

They can grow into big, lanky plants if they are left to their own ways.

After six weeks of rooting, pinch the shoot tip back to encourage branching in your plant.

For those who don’t get it, I’ll try to explain

It was a straight stalk with a few leaves when you took your cuttings.

Take a look at the roots of your plant. Below it, there should be a couple of larger leaves and a growing point.

How to grow Poinsettia Plant | Poinsettia Cuttings Propagation in easiest way - YouTube

Pinch only the top half-inch or so of the stem’s growth that grows straight up.

The plant will send out new shoots at the following leaf nodes if you pinch the growing point back. A shot is taken away, but you receive two in return. You’ll get more flowers and color in the long run if your plant generates more shoots.

To be in time for the end-of-year festive color, start this process by the beginning of September.

If you want your poinsettias to have the vibrant colors for which they are famous, you’ll need to expose it to a period of extended darkness.

When exposed to long, dark evenings, poinsettias—which are photoperiodic plants—florize.

Creating these circumstances may need a lot of time and effort, but it’s well worth it when you see the beautiful color of your homegrown Christmas bloom in the sunlight.

Grow Your Own Holiday Joy

Poinsettias may be grown at home in only seven simple steps.

To get a home full of homegrown poinsettias this Christmas season, all you need to do is follow these instructions and hope for the best.

The question is whether or not you’re up for the challenge, gardener. Have you ever attempted to self-propagate poinsettias? Let us know what you think in the comments section, and don’t be afraid to post a picture if you have one to show!

Poinsettias are another one of our winter-blooming plants that you might be interested in knowing more about.