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Prune the poinsettia: when and how to do it

Prune the poinsettia: when and how to do it

Although its scientific name is Euphorbia pulcherrima, we all know it as poinsettia, poinsettia, Christmas plant, federal star or Poinsettia. These plants, with their striking flowers and bright red bracts, are very popular for blooming precisely at Christmas time. Many people believe that they are annual plants, but it is possible to make them survive for more than a year. To do this, however, they require a lot of care, among which pruning stands out, vital in this case.

if you want to learn when and how to prune the poinsettia or poinsettia so that it can survive longer, join us in this article.

When to prune the poinsettia

The best time to prune poinsettia this late January. It is at this time when the plant will have already lost all its leaves, both the green ones and the red bracts. This is the point that indicates that the time has come to take the pruning shears, sterilize them and get to work. It is also possible that the plant will lose only the flowers and bracts depending on the weather, in which case you can apply the pruning then.

How to prune the poinsettia or Christmas plant

As we have said, the correct pruning of this plant is absolutely necessary for its survival, so follow these steps as carefully as possible to learn how to Prune a Poinsettia or Poinsettia:

  1. The first thing is prune the stems of your poinsettia Choose four branches or stems, which will be the main ones for your plant. Cut them back to the third bud, which will be about 10cm, and trim all other twigs and stems, especially if they look weak.
  2. Once pruned, it is highly recommended seal the wounds of the plant with healing paste or melted wax, which will protect the Christmas plant against diseases and pests.
  3. Then it becomes necessary to check how the roots of the plant are. Poinsettia roots grow at a rapid rate, and it may be necessary to a transplant in a larger container. In addition, one must also apply a root pruning, trying to leave them loose so that they can develop better. After the transplant, it is advisable to fertilize and provide light to the plant.
  4. Finally, in summer, when the plant begins to put out new shoots, you should pinch each of these to stimulate their growth. Some people recommend pinch the shoots again in midsummer, especially in the highest parts of its branches, but this second pinching is optional. The more you pinch the new shoots, the more side shoots the plant will produce, and the more flowers it will bear when the time comes.
  5. In addition to all this, the poinsettia, like any other plant, needs to be regularly cleaned of dry leaves and branches or in poor condition, which slow down their development and result in a waste of nutrients.
Prune the poinsettia: when and how to do it - How to prune the poinsettia or Christmas plant

How to care for the poinsettia until next Christmas – basic care

In addition to pruning, which is the most important thing, there are other cares that you must take into account when it comes to getting your poinsettia survive the year until the following winter. To do this, keep in mind this basic Christmas plant care guide:

vegetative rest

On the one hand, the poinsettia needs adequate vegetative rest, as is the case with many other plants. You need to allow it to overwinter somewhere away from heating and other artificial sources of heat, or the plant will not enter this state. In that time, space the risks: one weekly should be enough.

Transplants and temperature

As we have already specified in the root pruning part, it is very likely that this plant will require a transplant every year. You can take it outside, but only if the temperatures in the area where you live do not drop below 0ÂșC. The poinsettia does not tolerate frost, so if your climate is very cold, a transplant to a larger indoor pot will suffice. Here we tell you more about How to transplant the poinsettia.


Regarding the fertilizer, it appreciates small amounts of fertilizer added to the water with which we water it, especially after its flowering season. You can use purchased slow-release fertilizer, or use organic and ecological fertilizers, which you must apply in small doses and at most every 10 days.

If you follow all these steps, your Poinsettia should be able to accompany you for several years. Give it a try and don’t throw it away! Also, if you see that the Christmas season is approaching and it does not have its typical color, this guide can be very useful: How to make the poinsettia turn red. Besides, to expand this information, we recommend this other practical gardening guide that deals with the Care for the poinsettia.

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