Poinsettias come in shades of red, pink, white, or bi-colors. Actually it isn’t the flowers that are the showy part of the plant. The true flowers are very small and are centered in the middle of the colored leaves called bracts. These bracts are what make the poinsettia such an attraction.
Painted poinsettias are also available as unusual and attractive winter decorating options. White poinsettias are painted in a variety of colors with water soluble paints. Avoid wetting the leaves when you water a painted poinsttia as the color will run.
Bright light is required for growing poinsettias. Water regularly, letting the soil become slightly dry before the next watering. Use tepid water, as poinsettias do not like to be chilled. Mist their leaves to keep the humidity high, but note that misting painted poinsettias may make them run. They dislike sudden temperature changes so keep them away from cold drafts and furnace registers, and wrap the plants warmly when transporting outdoors.
It is very difficult to get a poinsettia to bloom again the next year. They are called “short day” plants because the colored bracts are triggered when the number of daylight hours goes below a certain point. It is probably best to discard the plant late in the winter, however, if you want to try to get it to flower again, here is the procedure:
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