We all love beautiful poinsettias at Christmas. But sometimes we wonder what to do with them in January. Place your poinsettia in a nice, warm, sunny window, free of drafts. Give it at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. If possible, keep daytime temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees F/18 and 21 C and slightly cooler at night, around 60 F/15 C.

Continue your normal watering routine until spring, then allow it to dry gradually. Around the middle of April or May, or if your plant becomes leggy, cut the stems back to about 4 inches above the soil and repot in a larger container with fresh, sterile potting mix. You can remove any faded or dried parts of the plant anytime. Water thoroughly and then put the plant back in a sunny window

Water again when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. After new growth begins, feed your poinsettia every couple weeks with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. In early summer, when nighttime temperatures remain above 50 F/10 C, move the plant outdoors (in its pot) in a slightly shady location. Gradually, allow the plant to get more light until finally giving it full sun. Continue watering and fertilizing the plant as usual.

Trim again as needed in summer, pinching about an inch of terminal growth from each stem. Give it another pruning towards the first part of September. Trim off two to three inches to promote side branching, allowing 3 or 4 leaves to remain on each shoot.

Bring the plant indoors when outdoor temperatures reach 55-60 F/12-15 C. Place it in a sunny window and maintain similar indoor temperatures as before (65 to 70 F/18 to 21 C.). Continue watering and fertilizing. From the beginning of October until the end of November, give it 12-14 hours of darkness daily. Place it in a closet or cover with a large box every evening and then return the plant to its sunny window during the day for at least six hours. Reduce water and fertilizer. By Christmas, your blooming poinsettia, will be the centerpiece of holiday decor and ready to begin the cycle anew.

For more gardening hints and information, visit our website at: www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Our very popular Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) Monthly Programs resume on January, 19, 2017, 7-9pm, at the Optimist Hall, 101 Main St. W., Dunnville. Join us for “Gardening Questions, Answers and Tips” with our own Master Gardeners and host, Deb Zynomirski. This evening is a favourite. Bring your questions, gardening challenges and horticultural dilemmas. Our evenings are free and open to everyone, members and non-members alike.

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