Poinsettias are not very long-lived plants in the best of circumstances, but you can certainly extend poinsettia pleasure beyond one Christmas season with appropriate plant care. Even better, you can grow replacement plants by propagating poinsettias. Poinsettia plant propagation can provide your home with a continuous supply of lovely holiday favorites. Read on to learn about poinsettia propagation methods.
Poinsettia Plant Propagation
If you are wondering about propagating poinsettias, there are two primary methods of poinsettia plant propagation. You can get new poinsettia plants either by planting seeds or by rooting a poinsettia cutting. Most people who propagate these plants do so by rooting a poinsettia cutting. This is the only way to ensure that you will get a poinsettia plant that is identical to the parent plant. It’s fun to plant the seeds though, and you may grow a great new variety.
How to Propagate Poinsettia Seeds
Remove seed pods from your plant as soon as they start to brown. Store the pods in a closed paper bag until the seed pods dry completely. When the seeds pop out of the pods, they are ready to plant. When you are learning how to propagate poinsettia seeds, you may be surprised by how simple it is. The seeds don’t need chilling or any other special treatment. Sow each seed just below the surface in moist soil and keep the pots in a warm place out of direct sun. Water the soil to keep it slightly damp and, in a few weeks, you should see new seedlings. Allow free air movement around the plants while they are very young to prevent diseases.
Rooting a Poinsettia Cutting
The most common manner of poinsettia plant propagation is rooting a poinsettia cutting. Although growers root cuttings in greenhouses, you can also root cuttings on a windowsill. To get the best new plants, cut healthy new stems from vigorous plants. Take 3 to 6 inches (8-15 cm.) of cuttings from parent plants just after their new growth starts in early summer. Using rooting hormones can help you succeed in rooting poinsettia cuttings. Tap some of the powder out on a paper towel and dip the cut end in the product. Then insert the cutting into holes you have poked into moist, pasteurized potting soil or fine sand. Put the cuttings somewhere bright but out of direct sunlight. Placing the pots inside plastic bags increases the humidity. After about a month, your efforts at propagating poinsettias should pay off as the cuttings grow roots and develop root systems.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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