You know those beautiful poinsettias at Christmas time? What if we said you could continue to have them year after year and not have to buy another one?

Don't own a greenhouse? More of a DIY plant enthusiast?

It doesn't matter. Growing poinsettias from your existing plants is easy if you know how to do it and if you have the patience to see it come to fruition.

6 Steps to Propagate Poinsettias

Poinsettias, also called Christmas flowers, are often grown in greenhouses from cuttings. In fact, it's not that hard to take a cutting from your poinsettia and grow a new plant within a few weeks. You just need the right materials and a few steps to keep in mind for it all to work out right.

Get Your Materials Ready

You'll need a few things before you can start propagating your poinsettias. Having everything ready, even if you don't need a few things until weeks later, will help everything go smoothly. Here's a quick list of things to gather:

  • A poinsettia with new or active growth
  • Small pruning shears or scissors
  • Potting soil, peat moss or other growing medium
  • Gloves
  • Spray bottle
  • Rooting hormone
  • Starter cups and six-inch pots

Pick a Growing Medium

You don't need moist soil when propagating your cutting. In fact, many greenhouse growers use floral foam as the starting point for their cuttings. You can use potting soil if you prefer, or you could also use something like peat moss or compressed coconut husks. Cuttings will take in water from the leaves, not the roots since they won't have any yet. That's why you don't have to water the cuttings until they've rooted. Place the growing medium in a small starter cup.

Snip Your Cutting

Put on those gloves, and grab your shears. It's time to make your cut. Choose an actively growing branch, and cut off about three or four inches of it. Pinch off the lower leaves to help the roots grow from the nodes and the bottom of the cutting. Don't take off the top leaves. They will absorb the moisture.

Dip the Cutting in Rooting Hormone

Though this step is optional, you could boost the speed of growth by using a rooting hormone. All you have to do is dip the cut end into the hormone and then place the cutting into the growing medium.

Keep it Humid

With the cutting in place, it's time to set the starter cup in a lit, humid area away from direct sunlight. If you're growing the poinsettia indoors, you can increase the humidity by placing a plastic baggy over the starter cup. Just moisten the leaves with water, and place the bag over the top. It will keep the humidity high while it's rooting.

Transfer the Cutting to a New Pot

Within four weeks, you should notice the roots growing from your cutting. Now's the time to transfer it to a pot with potting soil. Make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes; otherwise, the cuttings will take in too much water and die. Keep the cutting in a humid area with temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit and in partial shade.

If you want the look of a bushy poinsettia, pinch back the growing tip. It will help to bring out new shoots at the leaf nodes. For brighter flowers, keep the poinsettia in complete darkness at night. Since they're photoperiodic, meaning they respond to changes of duration of light and darkness, they need long, dark nights to bloom a vibrant red.

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