Keeping a poinsettias another year is quite easy. The plants sort of grow themselves with only a little care. After the holidays, keep poinsettias warm and moist. You can set them outdoors during the warmer weather but bring them in when temperatures dip much below 40 degrees. January is also the time for the first feeding. It can be a liquid made for container plantings or you could make the work easy and use a slow release fertilizer. These are the newer products that can feed the plants for months.
Around mid March either plant the poinsettias in the ground or give each a larger container. I like the larger container idea as you can move the plants about especially during stormy weather or cold. Start with a container that is about 2- to 3-inches larger in diameter. Gradually the plants can be stepped up to larger containers throughout the growing seasons as needed.
Now, some pruning is needed and the first is at planting time in March. Cut each plant back to within 12- to 18-inches of the ground or soil. Then allow the plant to make a foot of new growth. At this point cut out the top 4 inches of each new shoot. Then allow the plant to make another foot of new growth and repeat the pruning. Continue this procedure until the end of August. Following are some more tips to grow one or more poinsettias another year whether in the ground or in a container.
- Keep the soil moist by watering when the surface begins to dry.
- Continue to feed the plants or use the slow release products as instructed on the label.
- Allow the plants to grow without pruning from September on.
- Stay alert for caterpillars and mites and control as needed.
- Starting in mid October allow the plants to only receive daytime light.
Poinsettias don't mind a little cold but protect them from frosts and freezes. You can bring them indoors, shelter under a tree, apply a cloth cover or fit under a large box.