Do you have a leggy poinsettia? You know, that poinsettia you were given or bought back in December? The one that was gorgeous and full but now seems scraggly and you're thinking about throwing it out?
Don't! Poinsettias can be beautiful all year long. You just have to know how to care for and prune them properly.
Poinsettias are actually shrubs that can grow to 10-15 feet tall! I'm sure you don't want a poinsettia that large in your house (if you do, stop reading now and just let yours do its thing!). They naturally get leggy in indoor settings, partly due to lack of light. But this is largely because greenhouses treat poinsettias with "plant growth regulators" to keep them compact and bushy. Greenhouses know that your average shopper doesn't want a shrub indoors. But once the plant leaves the greenhouse, it'll revert to its typical growth pattern, which means it'll stretch for sunlight in your average home.
If you don't want to apply growth regulators, there are steps to take to make sure your poinsettia stays gorgeous all year.
1. Set the poinsettia in bright light, making sure that at least 6-8 hours of that is direct light.
2. Make sure the room is warm, 68-70 degrees is best.
3. Feed it monthly.
4. Once your poinsettia is looking leggy, its time for a pruning. Watch the video below to see how to do this. Make sure to wash your hands and take care when pruning because the white liquid from the stems can be irritating.
5. If you want your poinsettia to bloom in the winter again, you'll need to put it in a dark area for 12 hours starting in October. Once mid-November rolls around, you can take it back out as normal.
Enjoy those poinsettias!