You can now move your poinsettia outside for a summer blast of sunshine and temperatures. Keep it in a partially shaded location and never in direct sunlight. Water regularly and give a little extra fertilizer once near the end of this month.
Right after July 4, take a moment and cut back each stem the length of your thumb tip. It’s tempting to leave the growth, but if left uncut now, the poinsettia will grow rather leggy and lanky. Not their best look.
August through September
By mid-August, each branch will have new growth. Once again, pinch or cut them back to a small handful of leaves on each shoot. Now’s the time to bring the plant back inside (so the temperature remains regular) and place in your sunny window. Water regularly, and add the fertilizer mix once per month.
To get poinsettias to re-bloom, at this point they must be limited to 12 hours or less of sunlight per day. This might sound tricky, but all you have to remember is that starting October 1 until almost the end of November, keep your plant in complete darkness from 5 pm to 8 am. (Like a toddler with a very early bedtime!) No exposure to light as this will delay blooming. Even quick exposure to light will affect the blooming, so the easiest thing to do is to put it in a closet you know you won’t be using until the next morning. During the day, place the plant back in its sunny window and continue to water and fertilize.
The last week in November you can keep the poinsettia in the window full time. Your reward for this early bedtime schedule? You will have several fabulous flower buds now.
No more fertilizing after mid-month. Continue to water it the way you did when it was new — and enjoy as it continues to bloom throughout the season!