Thanks! Once springs comes, you should see recovery, especially once it warms up enough to put it back outside. Check the potting soil daily. Good luck! I too started my attempts at turning a poinsettia in an office setting. It sounds like you did everything right. Is that possible? Anyway, I am going to try to get it to bloom red for this Christmas. What would be your advise in terms of pruning while the bracts are still present and should I pop them outside for the summer (Dublin temps are 12 to 20degrees centigrade). If you don’t want to move your pot inside, I would use cardboard instead, However, you really need “total” darkness. I also think you need to cut the plant back a bit to rejuvenate it. I just kept watering it. I’ve never pruned it or reported it. I would especially pay close attention to the uncovered plants for the first signs of reversion or loss of redness back to green. if i begin the dark cycles in october, would they still turn red by winter? I have 2 pointsettias, received at the holiday time, they were small $5 kind. Leaves appear to have an extremely rough texture often compared to alligator skin. Days are getting longer and you can’t give it the environment it needs to change outside. We have been light monitoring our poinsettia, from last year about, for five weeks (we should have started sooner, but we are newbies to reblooming, and are none-the-less very excited for the success we are seeing). I got her last November & she was full till June. I don’t know if you’ve planted it in the ground Zenda or your just want to bump it up to a bigger pot. My first choice at this point is to leave it alone (but keep doing what you’re doing) if you are keeping it indoors. What if I just leave it in the closet for a while? I’m a newbie to caring for and reblooming poinsettias. Hope this information helps. *whispers* I even accidentally for got to cover it on 2 occasions in the 1st and 2nd week so my plant still forgave me! Green, red, and yellow are the natural colors of the poinsettia plant. When you say “bloom” I assume you are talking about turning the leaves red. The branches you want to keep should be spread evenly around the tree to make it look round and nice. My question is – can I leave it in the dark for 48 hours (over the weekend?) Hi, can you please tell me the best way to get my golden poinsettia tree back to life. So Melvin, is this the first year in the containers? Many people wonder what makes poinsettias turn red. Thank You, Ive researched and failed ..its now 2 months of 5pm to 8am total darkness..and bright flourescent lights or the sunny windows ..theres no peak thru light when I put the plant to sleep..I made a cover that fits in the cracks in the doors of a cabinet we are only using for this plant and here we are with dark , very dark in fact , green leaves and only a hint of red speckles in the stems..So my family laughs and says MOM YOU CAN BUY ONE FOR $8.00!! I have heard it pronounced by newscasters, private individuals, nurserymen…all differently. At night, however, poinsettia plants must not receive any light for at least 12 hours. I’d try it Jennifer. I don’t have anywhere dark and humid. Do you think it will be ok if I stop covering them? Any advice? with a lamp w bright bulb on a timer It has become very leggy and woody, with leaves only at the top.  By: Liz Baessler Printer Friendly Version. Each stem is starting to turn ONE red leaf, but only ONE per stem branch. John, the leaf size is a product of what the plant can support based on its environmental conditions. I’m thinking you’ll get red, just won’t know how much. You can transplant them out temporarily from late spring through early fall. My hubby’s sister had one for several years, it. You’re at the point where it’s getting too late to enjoy the full benefits of an all-red poinsettia. How often do I need to fertilize? In all, I put it in the closet every night for about seven weeks without seeing a leaf change at all- only the stems turned red. Just trying to figure out how tightly I have to monitor this in case ‘life’ gets in the way! Hi Kimberly. But it should respond well if you follow the above. May the light green is better and its not getting enough light? I would place them outdoors in a container or in ground and keep an eye on them. G. I have been putting my potted poinsettia in a closet every night without fail for a month. I would leave the plant uncovered and start again when you return from your trip. By dumb luck I’ve managed to keep a Christmas poinsettia alive for three years. Love the article — learn something new everyday! Hi Brian. 1) My poinsettia leaves are a half of original one( I replanted the one I bought last year). Once the plant is settled in, and while it’s still warm, you could cut them back to promote a smaller or fuller plant. If it were me, I would conduct an experiment at this point. If your poinsettia is dropping its leaves, there may be a number of factors to blame. Mary, Any ideas/tips?! Once flower bracts have developed definite color, you can reduce the amount of darkness and increase its water. I open the windows when home and when winter kicks in, I open the windows more to expose it to cold air; thinking that helps. I’m going to try this 14/10 thing this year. Happy gardening. Mine is getting red on its own, slowly though but that’s ok. They both fill up the window that is their year round home, which baffles me. Yes, you should cut it back to a height of 4 to 6.” https://www.growingagreenerworld.com/restoring-a-poinsettia-to-its-christmas-color/ . It’s been exactly 4 weeks and some bracts have started to turn red =). And by the way, if you do nothing, let us know what happens. Your plants seem quite happy indoors. Poinsettias WILL drop their leaves as the winter goes on. If they’ve become root bound as I would expect, you need to break them up and replant into a larger container with fresh soil. But what you did is so much more interesting. Poinsettias are famous for their flower-like bracts that turn bright red in the winter time and earn them a place as an extremely popular Christmas plant. If it were me and you’re going for red leaves, I’d put the plant in a box before you leave work for the weekend to make sure it has total darkness. I had a tiny one last Christmas in the office and eventually all the leaves dropped off. We’re all learning here and you could make a valuable contribution to what we don’t know…yet. Usually the foliage will recover its turgidity after a thorough watering, but… a few days later, the lower leaves begin to turn yellow and drop off. We have been putting our pointsettia in light during the day for about 8 hours and in a box for the rest of the day/night. Perhaps a reader will offer suggestions on how to make this happen. Works like a charm. But sometimes they don’t, so that’s where the intervention comes in by trying to simulate ideal conditions. Celebrate the fact that your plant is growing tremendously. All I do is water it and feed it normal plant food. Ro, Hmmm, the black garbage back worries me. I know it’s a lot of work to work the system to turn your poinsettia leaves red by following the “book” guidelines. Unfortunately I had to be away for conferences and meetings 4 times and so the treatment was not consistent. Plants that are allowed to get too dry will wilt and also drop leaves. In mid-October, I moved my poinsettia’s from an outdoor patio to an unused bathroom which gets no light in the evening. Also, the plant might be pot bound. I don’t know if moonlight will hinder your plants from turning red. Pretty green leaves now. The bracts on the poinsettia plant need a little help to return to their original red color year after year. This is why I persuaded my husband to build a special box that I could hang grow lights from and cover the top of the box so that it is in complete darkness when the light is off. Check with your local cooperative extension service for more information. They were doing fine,; but all of a sudden many of the leaves are turning brown on the edges and curling up. I’d say enjoy it as is and tackle this project with a smaller plant in October. After five days! If you are digging up from the ground, I’d repot after summer and with enough time before you bring it back inside, so that it has time to acclimate to its new home in a pot. Just the lights from the office don’t compensate for that. it would be super cool if this worked but you may need to be the one to try and let us know. I put them outside in the spring and forget about them until fall. Thought I’d killed it but eventually it started sprouting again. If you do as I suggest, then pruning out new shoots in July would be ok, but keep in mind the red leaves you are after are just that, leaves. I just wanted to say I was so impressed by all the answers. I would not be worried about the humidity. Joe Lamp'l is the Host and Executive Producer of the award winning PBS television series Growing A Greener World. I wonder if they’ll adjust and behave for the holidays. Idon’t need the whole plant to go red, just the tops…?? But at this point you could keep the experiment going to find out, and then you can let us all know, or settle for what you have now. But it is not cold-hardy for Tennessee. Thanks Joe, great advice re the cardboard! Thank you for the advice!! Is there any way to halt or slow the process or is it now too late for this season? Eventually nothing is left to feed the plant until you add it back with fertilizer. Assuming this is not practical, do all you can during the week and lets see how this turns out. Here is the link for the information about your poinsettia. I tried putting some used coffee grounds on it and then realized – chocolate flavored coffee grounds make your house smell like chocolate for a week. Once fall returns (and shorter days), reduce the amount of fertilizer, and bring outdoor plants inside. Advice? I did none so far and it is looking like a little tree now, with no leaves on the bottom ten inches or so of stalks. I’ve had my poinsettias a LONG time and they rarely EVER turn red. Let us know what happens as well over time. However, you won’t hurt it to try starting the cycle now and when you’re ready to bring it out for display, although it may not be as red as you’d like, it should show some signs of color at least with 7 weeks or so to go. Good luck. The poinsettia is the canary in the coalmine of houseplants when it comes to carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, tasteless toxic gas, reacting well before humans show the slightest symptom. Poinsettias as Houseplants What should I do? A couple of years ago I was doing a Christmas job in a grocery store floral shop and, while unpacking 50 or so boxes (8 plants per box), I found one red one with white splotches. i wanted bigger leaves so i’ve added miracle-gro indoor plant food spikes ( 6% nitrogen and 12% phosphate). Nutrients are depleted a little more with every watering. . I want to know at this point is that, if there are already red leaves formed, can I still continue with the 14/10 light.. Will more leaves continue to turn red. On my overnights away, do you think it best for me to leave the plant in total darkness (covered by the box) – maybe 48 hours – or is it best for me to leave the plan uncovered and start covering it again when I get home? I just need to move this to somewhere darker in about August so they will turn Red again? A large plant in 65 degrees starting september challenge ( and shorter )! 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