Growing Poinsettias


Poinsettias are often associated with the Christmas season. During the winter holidays they are widely sold at supermarkets and nurseries for indoor decoration. Often the plants are discarded at the end of the season, typically because they have either died or no longer look as healthy and attractive as when purchased. There is no reason to toss out your poinsettias, providing you take extra care when growing these festive plants.

Step 1

Choose a draft-free indoor location where the poinsettia will get at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Step 2

Keep the nighttime temperature between 50 and 65 F and daytime temperature 68 F or higher.

Step 3

Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Step 4

In late spring, when the poinsettia has finished flowering, cut each main stem back to about 5 inches and repot with fresh potting soil into a slightly larger container.

Step 5

Fertilize twice a month during the spring and summer months. Do not fertilize the rest of the year.

Step 6

Place the plant in a dark closet or basement from late afternoon to morning, beginning the latter part of September through October. Poinsettias need 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness for 40 days or more in order to produce flowers. If you can manage this, your poinsettia will flower again for the next winter holiday season.

Tips and Warnings

  • Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is nontoxic, according to the Washington Poison Center. If eaten, however, it may irritate the stomach or mouth, and the sap may irritate the skin. Poinsettias may be mildly toxic to pets, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control and Care.

Things You'll Need

  • Potted Poinsettia
  • Potting soil for indoor plants
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Slightly larger container for repotting


  • "Flowering House Plants;" James Crockett; 1972
  • Reblooming Poinsettias
  • Pet Owner Information on Animal Poisoning

Who Can Help

  • Washington Poison Center
Keywords: growing poinsettias, poinsettia care, reblooming poinsettias

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.