Make Your Poinsettia Turn Red: A Guide For 2023

2 min read

How To Get a Poinsettia To Turn Red Mel's Garden


Are you looking forward to adding a festive touch to your home this holiday season? Poinsettias are beautiful plants that can instantly bring in the holiday cheer. Their vibrant red color is synonymous with Christmas, and they make for stunning decorations. But have you ever wondered how to make your poinsettia turn red? In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to achieve that desired red hue for your poinsettia plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do poinsettias turn red?

The red color of poinsettias is a result of a process called photoperiodism. This means that the plant requires a certain number of hours of darkness each day to initiate the color change. It is the reduction in daylight hours during the winter months that triggers the transformation of the poinsettia’s leaves from green to red.

2. How long does it take for a poinsettia to turn red?

The process of turning a poinsettia red usually takes around 8 to 10 weeks. It is essential to begin the preparation well in advance, typically around early October, to ensure that your poinsettia blooms in time for the holiday season.

3. What are the crucial factors for making a poinsettia turn red?

There are three primary factors to consider:

a) Light: Poinsettias require at least 12-14 hours of complete darkness each day. Any exposure to light during the dark period can disrupt the process.

b) Temperature: Poinsettias prefer temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night, around 55°F (13°C).

c) Timing: The timing is crucial, as the process needs to be initiated at the right time to allow the poinsettia to bloom during the holiday season.

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4. How can I provide the necessary darkness for my poinsettia?

To ensure your poinsettia receives the required darkness, you can cover it with a black cloth or place it in a completely dark room. Make sure to remove the covering during the light period to allow the plant to receive sufficient light for growth.

5. Can I use artificial light to make my poinsettia turn red?

No, artificial light can disrupt the process. It is crucial to provide natural darkness during the required period for the poinsettia to turn red successfully. Avoid exposing the plant to any form of light, as it can delay or prevent the color change.

6. How often should I water my poinsettia during this process?

Poinsettias prefer to be kept moderately moist. It is important not to overwater them as it can lead to root rot. Check the soil regularly and water only when the top inch feels dry to the touch.

7. What other care tips should I keep in mind?

Aside from providing the necessary darkness and maintaining appropriate watering, it is also important to place your poinsettia in a location with bright, indirect light during its growth phase. Avoid exposing it to drafts or extreme temperatures, as it can cause stress to the plant.

8. Can I make my poinsettia turn red again next year?

Yes, you can! However, it requires dedication and careful planning. After the holiday season, you need to continue providing the necessary darkness and follow the same process from early October to make your poinsettia turn red again the following year.

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9. What should I do if my poinsettia does not turn red?

If your poinsettia fails to turn red despite following all the necessary steps, there could be various reasons. It may be due to irregular light exposure, improper temperature conditions, or lack of adequate darkness. It is best to consult a local horticulturist or gardening expert who can provide specific guidance based on your plant’s needs.


With the right care and attention, you can make your poinsettia turn red and create a festive atmosphere in your home. Remember to provide the necessary darkness, maintain appropriate temperatures, and follow the recommended timing. By following these steps, you can enjoy the beauty of red poinsettias during the holiday season year after year. Happy gardening and happy holidays!