Updated at: 08-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

If you want to learn how to pinch back a poinsettia, read on. Find out more by reading on.

When you see poinsettias, what comes to mind? As soon as you view the flowers, you’ll be reminded of the upcoming holidays.

Step-By-Step Guide in Pinching Back a Poinsettia

Even though they’re common during the holiday season, you’ll need to know how to keep your poinsettias healthy all year long if you want them to thrive.

Cutting Back My Poinsettia - YouTube

How to pinch back poinsettias is explained in detail here:

Step #1: Wear Gloves

The sap from poinsettias can potentially irritating to the skin. If you’re sensitive to latex, this white sap can irritate your skin, but it’s not harmful. When handling poinsettias, wear gloves.

Rinse your skin with soap and water as soon as possible if you come into contact with the sap. If you leave the sap on the leaves and stems for an extended period of time, it can harm your poinsettia plant. Use a wet towel to remove any sap from your plant.

Step #2: Cut Dead Leaves

From February to March, remove the dead leaves using gardening shears. Leaves that have become dry or discolored can be removed by cutting the stems at a 45-degree angle below the leaf.

Make sure you don’t remove any of the plant’s healthy leaves. The shear may need to be disinfected before cutting the leaves to avoid spreading bacteria and infections.

Step #3: Trim the Stems

The next step is to cut the stems to around six inches length. Poinsettias have the potential to grow into a large shrub if they are properly cared for. Trim the stems if you want to keep them tiny.

After removing the dead leaves, it’s easier for you to cut the stems. Rooting hormones can be applied to the stems and then planted in the ground to create new poinsettias. Leave around eight inches of stems from the rim of the container or soil if you desire larger plants.

Step #4: Prune Poinsettias Often

After you’ve clipped the stems of your poinsettias, they’ll continue to grow. Pruning is necessary to keep them at the desired size.

At the very least, do a monthly check-in on them. Trim the stems to your desired length if they’ve already grown, and you should have three to four new leaves left. If you want to get the most out of your poinsettias, you’ll want them to be spherical and dense. The healthy and abundant growth of leaves is encouraged by pinching tiny sprouts.

Step #5: Stop Trimming by November

Your poinsettias will begin to blossom and change color as the fall season comes to a conclusion and the winter season begins. Stop pruning your plants at this point to encourage optimum foliage growth.

Bonus Tip

In most parts of the United States, Poinsettias can withstand the summer heat, but overnight temperatures must be above 50 degrees F. Poinsettia cuttings can be saved and rooted in vermiculite to produce new plants.

Locate a space in your yard or home with a window that is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To enhance winter blossoming in your plants, you should place them in complete darkness for 12 to 14 hours each night at the conclusion of the fall season.

Only water your plants until the soil is completely dry, and do this on a regular basis. To avoid root rot, water poinsettias well until the water drains from the holes and then discard the water that gathers in the plant saucer.


Light is extremely important to poinsettias; even a small amount of light will prevent them from blooming. Even a sliver of light shining on your poinsettias can prevent them from flowering, so keep them away from streetlights and other sources of illumination.

Poinsettia Care: After Flowering - YouTube

Disinfect Your Pruners

Always disinfect your pruning tools with a clean paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol before and after use to help avoid the spread of illness between plants.

Remove Old Blooms

Cut the old stems back to 4 to 6 inches in height in the late winter or early spring and leave one to three leaves on each stem. When this happens, the leaf axis is forced to produce new growth, paving the way for a whole plant capable of supporting multiple blooms.

Prune the Growing Tips

Encourage branching further by pinching or cutting back the growing tips so that only three to four leaves are left on each stem, which prepares the plant for blooming. After the first few weeks of autumn, you can stop trimming, but it is recommended that you remove the top two or three leaves every four to six weeks during the summer.

Trim as Needed

  • Maintain the general form and size of your poinsettias by trimming larger plants as needed.


  • Summers can be spent outside in most of the United States as long as the nightly temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for Poinsettias.
  • Poinsettia cuttings can be saved and rooted in vermiculite to produce new plants. Choose an area in your yard or home that gets between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results with poinsettias. Start putting the plants in complete darkness for 12 to 14 hours a night in the late fall to get them ready for winter blooming.
  • Poinsettias should be fertilized every two to three weeks with a half-strength solution of houseplant fertilizer.
  • Check the soil every day and only administer water when the soil feels dry. Drainage holes at the bottom of the plant should always be watered thoroughly. Water that has accumulated in the bottom saucer should be flushed away


  • Always use gardening gloves and long sleeves when trimming or handling poinsettias since some people are allergic to their sap.
  • A brief interruption in the time of darkness will result in no new flowers on poinsettias due to their extreme sensitivity to light. As a precautionary measure, keep an eye out for street lights or any light that gets in through the doorways of your poinsettia’s house.

When should you pinch a poinsettia?

In the creation of poinsettias, pinching is one of the most important activities. Within 10 to 14 days of potting liners or four weeks after direct seeding cuttings, pinch emerging roots to the edge of the completed container.

When should you pinch prune a poinsettia to control its growth?

Be careful not to overwater the plants again. Soil with good drainage and a dry top layer between waterings is ideal for the growth of Poinsettia. When new growth reaches a length of six inches or more, pinch it back to maintain it compact. As a result, growth will be more pronounced below the tip.

What does pinching a poinsettia do?

Keeping mums and poinsettias compact and sturdy by pinching them back helps them from growing lanky. Especially with chrysanthemum stems, which can break if let to grow too long, this is critical.

How do I make my poinsettia bushy?

Once the plant has finished flowering and the red leaves or “bracts” have fallen off, you’ll need to give the plant a hard prune to ensure it retains it bushy (rather than leggy) appearance and to give it the best chance of flowering again.

Where do you pinch a poinsettia?

The plant must be pruned aggressively after it has done flowering and the red leaves or “bracts” have fallen off in order to maintain a bushy appearance and give it the best chance of re-flowering in the future.

Can you trim back poinsettias?

Don’t Forget to Trim Your Poinsettia if You Want It to Re-Bloom the Following Season. Make sure to keep it in an area that gets around six hours of sunlight each day and is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to keep it around for a long time.

How do you keep poinsettias blooming?

Your Poinsettia Tree Will Bloom Again if You Follow These Tips! To make room for the new growth, reduce the height of the plant by 4 to 6 inches after Christmas and transplant it into a pot with better drainage. Never allow the soil to become damp. Allow for ample illumination. Feed once a week with half-strength liquid houseplant fertilizer.

How do you get a poinsettia to turn red again?

Place your poinsettia in absolute darkness for 14 hours a day, beginning eight weeks before you plan to exhibit it, to encourage it to turn red. Plants need a lot of light during the day, but they should be kept in complete darkness at night.

How can poinsettia growth or height be managed?

Maintaining a proper final height requires the capacity to adjust or moderate light intensity. Another aspect that affects plant height is spacing. On 12′′-18′′ centers, the majority of 6-inch pinched poinsettias are raised throughout their entire lives.

Programs for growing poinsettias from scratch The range of rates commonly used are 200 to 300 ppm N – I recommend 250 ppm N. Plantex, Masterblend, and Greencare fertilizers all produce excellent poinsettias as well, although I’m biased because I use Scott’s.

Why are my poinsettia leaves small?

Programs for growing poinsettias in the home The usual range is 200-300 ppm N, however I recommend no more than 250 ppm N. However, because I use Scotts fertilizers, my mind automatically jumps to Plantex, Masterblend, and Greencare.

Are coffee grounds good for poinsettias?

Any all-purpose houseplant fertilizer will work for poinsettias, according to Gardening Know How. Mixing coffee grounds or finished compost into the soil may be an alternative if you don’t have access to store-bought fertilizer. Your poinsettia’s health will be improved thanks to the additional nitrogen.

Cutting back and repotting my poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) - YouTube

What is the lifespan of a poinsettia?

Typically, poinsettias are kept by home gardeners for only one or two years. A bit more time may be needed if they’re really committed. However, the life expectancy of indoor plants is measured in months rather than years if you live in the North.”

Will poinsettia cuttings root in water?

Cuttings of woody stems approximately 18 inches (45.7 centimeters) long can be planted in the ground and kept moist for several weeks.” It appears that neither the native nor the non-native plant with the common name “poinsettia” can be reproduced by placing cuttings in a water solution.

How do I fix my leggy poinsettia?

Leggy is a terrible thing. Pruning your plant after the blossoms have faded is essential. These stems are should be trimmed, removing those that are too long or thin. Trim the plant’s growth by around 2 inches every 8 weeks to promote later blooming.

Why is my poinsettia so leggy?

Poinsettias naturally become leggy in household settings due to a lack of light. Poinsettias in greenhouses are commonly treated with substances called as “plant growth regulators” in order to maintain them compact and dense. Then you can put them in a summer pot or garden.

How do you keep a poinsettia alive year round?

Place them in bright, indirect light to keep them content throughout the season. Water them frequently so that the soil is evenly moistened; if the surface of the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. Floating water can damage the roots of your plants, so use caution.

How do you take care of a poinsettia outside?

Poinsettias prefer slightly acidic, well-draining soil when grown outside. If you want to avoid root rot, make sure it drains effectively. Don’t put poinsettias outside shortly after Christmas since they’ll die. The shrubs should be pruned back to two buds once all of the leaves have fallen off.

How do you take care of a potted poinsettia?

Keep the soil wet. When the soil surface seems dry to the touch or the pot feels light to lift, it’s time to water your plant. Poinsettias should never be allowed to dry out so much that they die. Before watering, remove any ornamental wrapping or outside container. During the months of January and March, continue to water as needed.

How do you take care of a poinsettia indoors?

To keep a poinsettia healthy, here are some tips. The ideal temperature range for poinsettias is 16°C to 22°C. Avoid placing your poinsettia near heat sources such as radiators, as well as windows that let in chilly air. During the daytime, place the plant in an area that receives indirect sunlight, allowing it to absorb the sun’s rays while avoiding sunburn.

Why Should You Plant Poinsettias in a Mini Greenhouse?

Planting poinsettias in a tiny greenhouse has a number of advantages. In the following list, you will find various examples:

Prevent pests and diseases from damaging your plants

Diseases like powdery mildew and botrytis gray mold are common in Poinsettia plants. Pythium and Rhizoctonia root rots can also develop in the roots.

It is possible for whiteflies, mealy bugs and mites to harm your plants if they are left unchecked. Keeping an eye on your poinsettias and growing them in a controlled environment will help keep illness and pests at bay.

Protect your plants from bad weather

Plants can be protected from severe weather in little greenhouses. Plants can be severely harmed by heavy rain, freezing rain, and other extreme weather events..

Your plants will be safer from the unpredictability of the weather if you keep them inside a greenhouse. Plant them outside when the weather is more favorable.

Final Thoughts on How to Pinch Back a Poinsettia

In other words, how do you pinch a poinsettia? Christmas wouldn’t be the same without poinsettias. Pinching your poinsettia back in the fall and winter months will ensure that they bloom nicely. The lush foliage that results from pruning and pinching is ideal for the Christmas season, when you want to enjoy the season’s best flowers.