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Poinsettias Can Be Made To Bloom Again

What happens to poinsettias once the holidays are over? With a little care, even non-gardeners can keep their Euphorbia pulcherrima , a plant native to Mexico and Central America, looking lovely for months.

Follow these simple tips and you might be able to coax it into another splendid display next winter.

• Keep poinsettias near a sunny window and away from cold drafts.

• Poinsettias like lots of moisture but hate wet feet. Water when the soil feels dry and let the water drain out of the bottom of the pot. Don't let them sit in a water-filled saucer.

• Once all the red flower bracts have fallen off, move to a cool, dark place and cut back on watering.

• In spring, cut back all the branches to about four inches and move to a sunny spot indoors. Water well. If you want, you can repot with fresh potting mix. Once new growth appears, fertilize every two weeks.

• In June, move the pot outdoors. Pick a sunny, protected spot. Pinch back any new growth to encourage branching.

• In September, bring the poinsettia back indoors. In order to bloom, the plant needs long cool nights and warm light-filled days.

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