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How To Keep Poinsettias Alive

Keeping your holiday poinsettias alive isn’t easy.  But with a little TLC, you can do it.  Here are step by step instructions.

Poinsettia
Eric Thayer, Getty Images

  • Continue to water your poinsettia, keeping the soil moist, but not wet, at all times. Keep the plant away from drafts caused by opening doors or heater vents.
  • Set the poinsettia outdoors once night temperatures average 55 degrees or above.
  • Transplant the poinsettia into a larger pot. Use fast-draining potting soil rich in organic matter.Cut the poinsettia back to about 8 inches in height in late March or early April. By the end of May you should see vigorous new growth.
  • Prune during the summer to keep the plant bushy and compact. Do not prune after September 1.
  • Keep the plant in indirect light or filtered sun.
  • Fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks with a complete fertilizer.
  • Move the plant into a closet each night, starting in October, for 14 hours, making sure it receives no light at all; move it into the light each morning for a maximum of 10 hours. Poinsettias bloom only when they experience long nights.
  • Continue this procedure every day for 10 weeks and you can have poinsettia blossoms for next Christmas.

[Via:  eHow]

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