Thanks to our good friend Liz, over at Hatteras Doves, last year I learned how to set my poinsettias out and now have several healthy happy very green plants! Thanks, Liz, for educating me to just how easy this is to do..and might I add, the plants I have now are much fuller and more robust than any I ever see for sale!
Why am I posting this, you ask? Because we are quickly coming up on the point that (if you want red poinsettias from your outside plants) you need to take action for those desired results.
Roughly 8 weeks before the season hits for poinsettias, you need to plunge them into complete and total darkness for about 14 hours a day. If you live in an area where they won’t freeze, you can do this right in the ground, by covering with a dark pot, etc. If in an area prone to freeze, pot them and bring them in first.
Absolutely NO light..none, zero, zilch, for those 14 hours…not even a little nightlight, according to the link below.
During those other hours, they need bright sunlight to thrive, and it is preferable to have a humid but not wet environment. In a few weeks, the bracts will begin to gain the red color, and if timed correctly, you should have bright red, showy poinsettas just in time for the holiday season..
Once the season is over, and the leaves are dropping, cut it back, let it stay somewhat (but not completely dry) until spring, and then begin again…planting outside, etc.
Learn more at Growing a Greener World