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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:46 pm
Location: Waterloo

Poinsettia forcing

I am trying to force my poinsettia to create buds for blooming at Christmas. I am covering with a box to create total darkness for
12-14 hours per day.
My question is: Do I still water my poinsettia during this?

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Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Hi and welcome. Glad to hear that someone else is trying this, I tried it for the first time last year and intend to do so again this year. Here is what I recall from last year. Around the first of October I brought my plants inside and began a routine of 12 hours of light/dark. This was a compromise as I usually allow 14 to 16 hours of light for my Ficus and Jades.

I found that this, 12/12 was not sufficient to trigger the bracts to change color. When I began to suspect this I cut it back to 10/14 this seemed to do the trick and I got the proper response, but I was a little late for Christmas. As the newer, red bracts appeared I removed some of the older green leaves to enhance the effect. It was not quite as nice as ones that are forced commercially but not too bad.

As far as water I maintained moisture levels at a reasonable level, not making any attempt to either increase or decrease moisture. Just so you know, I had the plant in a very free draining bonsai type soil.



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