Bringing Poinsettias Back Into Bloom
By Doug Hackbarth
Broadview Florist & Greenhouse
I grow about 6,000 poinsettias each year and people always ask me if I have to cover them all. I do not, and neither do you. You also do not have to put them into the closet as most of you have been told. So what do you need to do in order to bring your poinsettia back into bloom? Nothing…as long as you do not turn on any lights around your poinsettia after dark, they will come into bloom naturally.
Poinsettias are extremely sensitive to any amount of light including a lamp, a night-light or even a security light outside of the window. It is a well-known fact in our industry, that even the headlights from a busy highway can delay the blooming of poinsettias grown in greenhouses near that highway. Greenhouses near a road with streetlights either have to have the lights turned off or they must block the light from shinning into their greenhouses.
For you and me it is simple to bring them back into bloom. I have no extra lights to worry about and you can simply place your poinsettia into a spare bedroom, near a sunny window, water and fertilize normally and never turn on any lights in that room after dark. That’s it.
Now, if you have not started this procedure yet, then start today as the real time for starting this "short-day" treatment was the first day of Fall, around September 21 st. Your poinsettia may bloom late, but it will bloom and it will never be as nice as it was the first year as older plants simply are never as nice as they were the first year. It is also much too late to trim or cut back your poinsettia. Cutting back poinsettias can be done anytime after it blooms and as often as you like up to the 20 th of August, then no more.