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By Teresa Bigham/The Hesperian-Beacon—
Not only can poinsettias brighten up your holiday season, they can be kept alive to grow and bloom again next year.
Everyone knows poinsettias are the official flower of the Christmas holiday. These plants can come in a variety of colors ranging from deep red to crimson, white, pink and all types of variations, they truly do brighten up any holiday display.
Keeping then healthy and strong all through the season can be a challenge, according to Old World Garden Farms.
Poinsettia blooms are bracts and not flowers at all, Old World Garden Farms tells us. Although they look like a flowering bloom, brats are instead a set of colorful leaves that form on top of the regular green foliage of the poinsettia.
According to Old World Garden there are three steps to keeping your poinsettia plant in tip top shape.
The first step and the most important one is proper watering. When a poinsettia plant fail early in the season, it can most often attribute to too much or too little watering.
Over watering causes the most issues, Old World Farms reports. Not only can overwatering lead to the yellowing of leaves, it can also rot away the root structure, killing the plant in the process.
One rule to follow is to allow your plant to dry out completely between watering. When you do water, water so that the soil is moist and damp, but not saturated. Be sure to not allow the soil to stay dry for too long. Under watering can cause a plant to lose it bracts and color prematurely as well, according to Old World Garden Farms.
The second factor that can affect the longevity of blooms is the amount of heat in the room. Poinsettias will bloom longest when they are kept in conditions between 70 to 75 degrees. Old World Garden Farms says, this tropical plant loves the heat and humidity, but not too much. Overly warm rooms wills shorten the bloom time of the poinsettia plants.
The final factor for extending blooms is the amount of natural light the plant receives. Poinsettia plants need light to bloom, but not too much. Placing plants in a sunny window will speed up their bloom time greatly. It can also damage the foliage.
Once the blooms have faded from your poinsettia plant, begin by cutting the foliage and stems back to around 4” above the soil surface. Your plant will likely have a pathetic look, but do not worry it will come back.
Place the plant in a sunny windowsill, continuing to water as needed. Usually within two to three weeks, you should begin to see new growth to emerge.