If you’re a homeowner in Maryland, chances are the harsh winter weather leaves you neglecting your outdoor landscaping around the holidays. If you want to be surrounded by thriving greenery other than your Christmas tree or holiday bush, it pays to know how to tend to seasonal house plants. The poinsettia, one such flower, was introduced to the U.S. in 1825 by way of Joel Poinsett – originally native to Mexico. If you’re one of the 220 million who purchases a pretty poinsettia come winter, here are a few tips to make them last even once the holidays have expired.
She Knows Home & Garden put together a month-by-month schedule in efforts to help eliminate the trend of tossing poinsettias post-Christmas. Take a look at our summarization below to be on your way to fostering your plant to take bloom for Christmases yet to come.
January, February, and March: Be diligent about watering your poinsettias – don’t let them dry up just because the holidays have.
April: Urge your plant into hibernation by decreasing the amount of water you give it over time, letting the soil dry in between watering, and being mindful of the healthiness of the stem. A few weeks of this process will gradually make your plant go dormant; it can then be placed in cool area that maintains a temperature of around 60 degrees. Water only occasionally and sparsely.
May: A full month after moving your poinsettia to its new home, cut all the stems back to about four inches and repot the plant in a larger container, watering and fertilizing well. Place in a sunny spot, and watch your plant begin to regrow.
June: Let your poinsettia enjoy the summer sun, taking it outside in a well-shaded area, being careful to water consistently. Fertilize towards the end of the month.
July: In spite of your instinct to do otherwise, cut back the growth of each stem to about the length of your thumb tip, ensuring it won’t look too gangly once the holiday season storms ahead.
August and September: Bring the plant back inside to its sunny spot and cut back new growth so there are only a few leaves on each shoot. Water regularly and mix in fertilizer once a month.
October: Now’s the time when your poinsettia needs a little extra pampering: limit sunlight exposure to 12 hours or less a day, leaving it in total darkness from 5pm-8am. Light exposure thwarts blooming. Continue to water and fertilize.
November: You’ll see the fruits of your hard work in October with the beginnings of blossoms!
December: Enjoy your poinsettia through the holidays, watering as you did when it was new.
Though a lot of labor, caring for your poinsettia year round will rejuvenate your appreciation for it come the holiday season. And if you don’t have a green thumb, Lehnhoff’s Landscaping in Howard County and Maryland can help with your plant maintenance from season to season.
To learn more, contact Lehnhoff’s Landscaping by calling 443.921.5789 or visit LehnoffsLandscaping.com today!