Gardening Tips

How to recover a poinsettia

How to recover a poinsettia

The poinsettia, commonly called christmas plantfederal star or Poinsettia and scientific name Euphorbia pulcherrimais a precious plant that in many countries it is common to grow or acquire for the Christmas holidays.

However, what not so many people know is that it does not have to be treated as an annual plant, and that is that the poinsettia can survive without problems if we give it proper care. If yours is dry or withered and you wonder how to recover a poinsettia or if it is still beautiful but you have bad experiences from other seasons and you want to know how to preserve the poinsettia from one year to the next, join us in this EcologĂ­aVerde article. Don’t let your Christmas plants end up in the trash after the holidays: keep them and learn to have them bigger and prettier each season!

How to Recover a Withered Poinsettia

After the holidays, poinsettias tend to start to wilt. The most common thing is that between the end of January and February they lose their flowers, bracts and most or all of their leaves, giving the feeling that the plant is dying, although this is not the case. The Christmas plant naturally goes through this process each year, budding and blooming again between spring and summer if your conditions are right. If your plant seems wilted past January, it is most likely simply getting ready to restart your yearly cycle.

It can also happen that your Christmas plant is withered because some of its needs are not being met. If you see that its leaves are flaccid or soft and that its stems seem droopy, it may be a bad location or excess water. In these cases, follow these instructions:

  • In the case of a bad locationit will be necessary to move the pot with the poinsettia to a place with abundant natural light but always of indirect incidence, and in an area sheltered from currents of wind. The poinsettia does not tolerate the constant passage of air, which dries it out and weakens it.
  • If it’s about excess wateringit will suffice reduce and space the risks until the potting soil dries out, and then prune rotten parts. It is vital that the poinsettia container has drainage holes and a light, well-drained substrate, as excess moisture rots its roots easily. Do not water the plant until the top layer of the substrate has dried and do so in small amounts.

Here you can read about watering the poinsettia: how often and how to do it.

How to recover a poinsettia - How to recover a faded poinsettia

How to Recover a Dried Poinsettia

If your poinsettia is very dry, it is most likely due to one of the two most common causes: too much sun or location near a heater.

  • In the first case, we are not really talking about a too much sun, but rather that the light falls on our plant too directly: the Christmas plant likes to receive a lot of light, but always filtered or indirectly. Use one thin curtain to cover that window next to it, or simply remove the plant to a slightly more secluded spot.
  • The same thing happens with heat sources: since the poinsettia tends to be grown indoors and in winter, it is common to mistakenly locate it near heat sources, such as radiators and other heating. Although it is true that the plant prefers mild temperatures, heat sources of this type are really harmful to it, because they dry it out and can easily kill it in prolonged exposure. Move your poinsettia to a remote location of these devices and be sure to give frequent watering (always without flooding). You can also help the plant by spraying a little water on its green leaves, always avoiding wetting the red bracts. If all goes well and the new location is good, your plant will soon recover.
How to recover a poinsettia - How to recover a dried poinsettia

How to make poinsettia bloom again

While saving a Christmas plant is easy, getting it to bloom again the following year is a bit more challenging. One of the most important cares for the poinsettia in this aspect is pruning, although not the only one.

  • For starters, when your poinsettia loses its bracts, flowers, and leaves in mid to late winter, you should do a aggressive pruning, leaving only 1 out of 3 stems, with a few nodes each. It is very important that the pruning shears are well sharpened and disinfected and that you make the cuts diagonally so that they do not accumulate dirt, as well as covering the wounds with healing paste. You can make the paste yourself by mixing melted candle wax with antifungal powder, and pour it over the pruned area to solidify and seal on it. In this other guide you will learn about Pruning the Poinsettia: when and how to do it.
  • Also, if you want your plant to bloom again it is vital to let it go through its dormant period. When autumn arrives, make sure to move the plant to a cool area (always above 0ÂșC) and ensure that it has between 12 and 14 hours of total darkness per day. This can be achieved either by covering it with a thin but opaque cloth, or by resorting to tricks like putting it in a closet.
  • Don’t neglect the fertilizer in the warm months with compost or earthworm humus, as well as the riskswhich at that time must be frequent but light and more spaced in the cold months.

If you follow all these steps, your poinsettia will get bigger and prettier each year and will bloom. So much so, that it is very likely that you will have to transplant it every year or every two seasons. Here we tell you how to transplant the poinsettia.

After learning all this about how to recover a withered or dried poinsettia and manage to keep it all year long so that it arrives at the next Christmas, year after year, and that it is green, red and with flowers again, you may want to delve more into some of your usual care. For this reason, here we leave you this guide to the Care of the Poinsettia and the video below.

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