Can Poinsettias Be Planted Outside

Can Poinsettias Be Planted Outside

As the festive season approaches, many of us are captivated by the vibrant colors of poinsettias—the iconic Christmas plants. But have you ever wondered if these beautiful flowers can be planted outside? The answer is yes, with the right care, poinsettias can thrive outdoors and add a touch of festive charm to your garden.

Poinsettias are known for their colorful bracts, which are actually modified leaves that provide their stunning hues. Plant breeders are constantly developing new varieties with different colors and improved traits. However, keeping poinsettias alive and getting them to re-flower the following year can be a daunting task.

If you’re up for the challenge, there are several essential steps to follow. Poinsettias need to be cut back, moved to a larger pot, kept above 13°C/55°F, and fed regularly. Additionally, they require complete darkness for 14 hours a day from early October to initiate bud formation. While it may be labor-intensive, it is possible to keep poinsettias for another year. But there’s also a more practical option—buying new plants each year.

Key Takeaways:

  • Poinsettias can be planted outside with proper care.
  • They require cutting back, a larger pot, and consistent feeding.
  • Complete darkness for 14 hours a day is necessary to initiate flowering.
  • Keeping poinsettias for another year can be a challenging process.
  • Buying new plants each year is a more practical option.

If you’re considering planting poinsettias outside, it’s essential to understand the care they need to thrive in different environments. In the following sections, I will share detailed information on how to keep poinsettias for the following year, an alternative approach to poinsettia care, general poinsettia care tips, caring for outdoor poinsettias, and planting poinsettias outdoors in the UK. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets of successful poinsettia care!

How to Keep Poinsettias for Next Year

To ensure the re-flowering of poinsettias the following year, proper care is essential. When the plants start to lose their appeal, they should be cut back by about half. In May or June, it’s time to move them into a larger pot and keep them at a minimum temperature of 13°C/55°F. You can even place them outside during the summer months to provide the optimal growing conditions.

During this time, poinsettias should be fed with a high-potassium liquid feed and kept consistently moist. From early October, it’s crucial to provide the plants with 14 hours of complete darkness each day to initiate bud formation for a beautiful Christmas display. Creating a dark environment can be easily achieved by using an upturned cardboard box, dustbin, or a completely dark cupboard.

During the remaining ten hours of the day, poinsettias need bright light and a temperature of at least 13°C/55°F to thrive. The bracts, the colorful part of the plant, will start to develop their vibrant hues around the end of November, and you can stop the daily covering at that point.

However, it’s important to note that keeping poinsettias for another year can be labor-intensive and may not guarantee the same quality as buying new plants. It requires consistent care and maintenance to ensure optimal conditions for re-flowering.

Key Steps to Keep Poinsettias for Next Year:

  1. Cut back the plants by about half when they start to lose their appeal.
  2. In May or June, move poinsettias into a larger pot and keep them at a minimum temperature of 13°C/55°F. Placing them outside during summer is also beneficial.
  3. Feed poinsettias with a high-potassium liquid feed and keep the soil consistently moist.
  4. Starting from early October, provide the plants with 14 hours of complete darkness each day to initiate bud formation.
  5. During daylight hours, ensure the plants receive bright light and a temperature of at least 13°C/55°F.
  6. The bracts will start to color around the end of November, signaling that the daily covering can be stopped.

Although it may require effort and dedication, successfully re-flowering poinsettias can be a rewarding experience. However, if you prefer a more convenient approach, purchasing new plants each year may be a practical option.

Alternative Approach to Poinsettia Care

Looking for an easier approach to poinsettia care? Instead of struggling to get your poinsettias to re-flower, consider this alternative method. When your poinsettia starts to look tired in March, simply discard the plant.

To do this, cut off the stem at soil level and dispose of the top growth on your compost heap. Leave the pot outside over winter for the roots to rot, and you can later use the old compost to improve your garden soil when planting in spring.

Then, come December, treat yourself to a fresh and healthy poinsettia by purchasing a new plant. By adopting this approach, you can avoid the effort and daily maintenance required to re-flower your poinsettias each year.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Avoids the labor-intensive process of getting the plant to re-flower
  • Ensures a fresh and healthy plant each year
  • Doesn’t require daily covering and maintenance
  • Requires purchasing a new plant each year
  • May not yield the same quality as plants that are re-flowered

So if you’re looking for a hassle-free approach to enjoying poinsettias every holiday season, this alternative care method is worth considering. Say goodbye to the daily maintenance and enjoy the beauty of a fresh poinsettia each year!

Alternative approach to poinsettia care

General Poinsettia Care Tips

When it comes to Poinsettias, proper care is essential to keep these festive plants thriving throughout the holiday season. Here are some valuable Poinsettia care tips that will help you maintain their beauty and health:

1. Light and Temperature

Poinsettias require a minimum of six hours of indirect sunlight each day. Place them in a room with temperatures between 13°C/55°F at night and 65 to 70°F during the day. Avoid exposing them to freezing temperatures, as they are susceptible to damage.

2. Watering

Avoid overwatering the Poinsettias, as they are prone to root rot. Water the plants only when the top inch of soil feels dry. Insert your finger 2 to 3 inches into the soil to check the moisture level. If it’s still damp, wait before watering again.

3. Feeding

Regular feeding with an all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer is crucial to keep your Poinsettias healthy. Follow the package instructions for proper dilution and apply the fertilizer every two weeks during the holiday season.

4. Post-Blooming Care

Once the bracts drop off, reduce watering and fertilization for a rest period. Trim the Poinsettias back, leaving a few leaves to maintain their appearance until March or April. At that point, cut the plant back further to promote regrowth for the next season.

Remember, Poinsettias are living plants that require regular attention and care to thrive. By following these Poinsettia care tips, you can enjoy the beautiful colors of these festive plants throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Poinsettia care tips

Poinsettia Care for Outdoor Plants

When it comes to caring for outdoor poinsettias, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Once the danger of frost has passed in the spring, you can safely take your poinsettias outside. Find a shady location where they can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Regular watering and feeding should begin when green shoots appear in the spring, ensuring that the plants stay healthy and vibrant.

Trimming is a crucial step in caring for outdoor poinsettias. This helps prevent tall and leggy growth, keeping the plants compact and bushy. Pinching back the tips of new growth encourages the development of more branches, resulting in a fuller and lusher plant. To maintain a small and compact size, it’s recommended to cut back the poinsettia around mid-July and early September, stimulating further branching.

Poinsettia care for outdoor plants

The Importance of Darkness and Color Change

In order to initiate the color change that poinsettias are known for, they need to be exposed to complete darkness for at least 14 hours a day starting in October. This can be achieved by placing the plant in a completely dark environment, such as a covered storage area or a dark cupboard. The absence of light triggers the bracts to begin their transformation, leading to the vibrant shades of red, pink, or white that we associate with poinsettias.

By the end of November, the poinsettia will start to exhibit its beautiful colors. It’s at this point that you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor in caring for your outdoor poinsettias. The stunning colors serve as a testament to your dedication and provide a stunning display that adds a touch of festive cheer to your outdoor space.

Outdoor Poinsettia Care Checklist
Take poinsettias outside after frost danger has passed
Place them in a shady location
Start regular watering and feeding when green shoots appear
Trim regularly to prevent leggy growth
Pinch back the tips of new growth to promote bushier plants
Cut back the poinsettia around mid-July and early September
Expose the plant to complete darkness for at least 14 hours a day starting in October
Enjoy the colorful display in late November

Planting Poinsettias Outdoors in the UK

If you live in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12 and the temperatures don’t drop below 45°F (7°C), you can plant poinsettias outdoors. Poinsettias can grow into 10-foot (3-meter) shrubs under the right conditions.

When planting poinsettias outdoors, choose a sunny corner that is protected from harsh winds. The soil should be slightly acidic and well-draining to avoid root rot. Poinsettias should not be transplanted immediately after Christmas. After the leaves have died back, prune the bushes back to two buds and keep them in a bright location. Planting can be done when the danger of frost has passed.

To successfully plant poinsettias outdoors in the UK, it’s important to consider their hardiness and adaptability to the local climate. While poinsettias are typically associated with indoor holiday decor, they can thrive outdoors in certain conditions.

When selecting a suitable location for outdoor poinsettias, choose a spot that receives ample sunlight. Poinsettias require at least six hours of indirect sunlight each day to grow and develop their characteristic vibrant bracts. However, it’s important to protect the plants from extreme heat and direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to wilt and fade.

In addition to sunlight, poinsettias also require well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH level. This helps prevent waterlogged roots and allows for proper nutrient absorption. If the soil in your garden is heavy clay or prone to waterlogging, it’s best to amend it with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve drainage.

Before planting poinsettias outdoors, it’s crucial to wait until the danger of frost has passed. Poinsettias are sensitive to cold temperatures and can be damaged or killed by frost. In the UK, it’s generally safe to plant poinsettias outdoors in late spring or early summer, once the weather has warmed up and the risk of frost has diminished.

When planting poinsettias, dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. Gently loosen the roots before placing the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, ensuring that the plant is at the same level as it was in its original container. Firmly press the soil around the base of the plant to secure it in place.

Planting Tips for Poinsettias Outdoors in the UK
Choose a sunny location protected from harsh winds
Ensure well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH
Wait until the danger of frost has passed
Loosen the roots before planting
Backfill the hole with soil, ensuring the same level as the original container
Firmly press the soil around the base of the plant

Once planted, provide regular watering to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Regularly monitor the moisture levels in the soil and adjust the watering accordingly.

Caring for outdoor poinsettias also involves regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer formulated for flowering plants and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and vibrant bract coloration.

As the poinsettias grow, it may be necessary to provide support or staking to prevent them from sprawling or being damaged by strong winds. Use stakes or plant supports that are sturdy and secure them in the ground near the base of the plants.

By following these planting tips and providing proper care, you can enjoy the beauty of poinsettias outdoors in the UK. Whether as part of your garden landscape or as a stunning feature plant, poinsettias can add a touch of festive charm to your outdoor space.

Caring for Poinsettias Outdoors

Caring for outdoor poinsettias is a straightforward and rewarding process. To ensure their health and vitality, follow these essential care tips:

Watering and Feeding

Begin regular watering and feeding in spring when you notice the emergence of green shoots. For optimal nutrition, you can use water-soluble fertilizer every other week, or opt for slow-release pellets. This regular feeding routine will provide the necessary nutrients for robust growth and vibrant blooms.

Trimming to Prevent Leggy Growth

Preventing leggy growth is crucial for maintaining the plant’s shape and overall appearance. Trim the tips of new growth to encourage bushier foliage. This simple practice will result in a fuller and more compact poinsettia.

Pruning and Care After Bract Fall

Once the bracts start to fall, it’s time to give your poinsettia a trim. Cut back the plant, leaving about six buds to promote new growth. Watering and fertilization should continue as usual, and by May, you’ll be rewarded with fresh and lush foliage.

Poinsettia Outdoor Care Summary

Step Instructions
Watering and Feeding Start regular watering and feeding in spring, using water-soluble fertilizer or slow-release pellets.
Trimming Regularly trim the tips of new growth to prevent leggy growth and encourage bushier foliage.
Pruning and Care After bract fall, cut back the poinsettia, leaving about six buds. Continue watering and fertilization throughout.

With these outdoor poinsettia care tips, you can enjoy beautiful and thriving poinsettias in your garden or outdoor space. By providing proper care, you can nurture these festive plants and continue to enjoy their vibrant colors year after year.


In conclusion, caring for poinsettias requires attention to detail and specific care instructions. While it is possible to plant poinsettias outside with proper care, achieving re-flowering can be challenging and time-consuming. The process involves daily covering for several weeks and maintaining specific light and temperature conditions.

Alternatively, an easier approach is to discard the plant after it loses its appeal and purchase a new one each year. This eliminates the need for complex care routines and ensures a fresh and healthy plant for the holiday season.

Whether choosing to re-flower or replace poinsettias, it is essential to provide the right conditions for their growth. This includes proper lighting, temperature, watering, and feeding. Regular trimming and pruning also help maintain the plant’s shape and overall health.

Overall, poinsettias are a stunning addition to the festive season, whether enjoyed indoors or outdoors. With careful care and attention, these vibrant plants can bring joy and vibrant colors to any holiday celebration in the United Kingdom.

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