How to recycle your poinsettia

After the holidays, you can recycle your poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) into a summer garden treat and then encourage it to rebloom next year.

After the holidays cut back flowering stems to 18 centimetres. As new growth appears, pot up plant into a larger (high and wide) 24 cm pot. Place it in a sunny spring window. Use a sterilized indoor potting soil with added nutrients, such as kelp or bone meal.

In early summer, place your potted plant into a sunny garden bed protected from hot afternoon sun. Rotate, feed and water often.

On September 1, bring plant inside. Be sure to check for pests or disease.

On October 1, place plant where it will receive a minimum of 12 hours of complete darkness (no streetlights or night-lights) per 24-hour day. After eight weeks the bracts will begin to change colour. Once in full “bloom,” it is safe to nestle the plant into your holiday décor.

Throughout the process, feed once per month with a liquid kelp or fish fertilizer and allow soil to dry out between watering.