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Name: Patricia L Corwin
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I have a dilemma - everyone tells me conflicting info on care for a poinsettia plant so that it will once again bloom for the next Christmas. Surely one of you able-minded botanists can help me. What do you do? Starve it of H2O, cut it back, put it in the closet... What is the REAL procedure? Granted, this is a funky question, but I have failed for the past 2 years and want to experience the thrill of victory!


About this time of year, I cut back my poinsettias. Then I give them plenty of sun, water, food, etc. through the summer. Toward the end of September, I put mine in darkness (in a closet That gets NO LIGHT AT ALL) over night each night. Once some red starts to show in the brackets, they can be left out in the room at night again and they will continue to turn red. Any light during the "long-night" period, though, will stop the process. It has taken me several years to get this to work, because I found that my room at school where I keep my plants was getting light from a security spotlight during the night. Once I discovered that and put the plants in the closet, things went fine.
Good Luck!
Ellen Mayo

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