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Will a Poinsettia Grow from a Cutting?

A poinsettia is a popular Christmas flower.
Cuttings are vulnerable to infestations from fungus gnats.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 December 2014
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A poinsettia can grow from a cutting. In fact, this is one of the main means by which the plant is propagated, and people can purchase cuttings in many large gardening stores. Though people normally think of the poinsettia as a Christmas flower, cuttings generally have to be purchased in late May to June to have a beautiful plant to offer during the Christmas Season.

The cuttings are somewhat vulnerable to a few diseases and should be inspected carefully before being planted. They are prone to bacterial soft rot and infestation by fungus gnats and white flies. Unfortunately, care for the poinsettia cutting to produce a beautiful plant often makes the cutting more diseased.

Generally, the cutting of a poinsettia can be placed directly in soil. Careful attention to watering the soil daily is needed, and the leaves require misting regularly. Ideally, the leaves and protruding stem should be covered with a film of moisture at all times. However, too much moisture can lead to easier spread of disease.

Some plant experts suggest that a poinsettia will grow best if dipped into a growth hormone prior to being inserted in soil. Most agree however, that fertilized soil is not initially necessary. Once the cutting starts to root, fertilizer may be added to keep the plant growing strong. The plants require nitrogen, primarily, since they tend to soak up any nitrogen provided in the soil.

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Temperature control of the poinsettia cutting is important. Plant specialists suggest that optimum temperatures are no greater than 85°F (29.44°C) in the day, and no less than 72°F (22.22°C) at night. In many moderate climates, it is quite possible to achieve these temperatures without the help of a greenhouse. Where the temperature is hotter during the day, people may consider bringing a single growing cutting indoors, but keeping the temperature about 80°F (26.66°C) during the day, with air conditioning settings.

Once the poinsettia cutting begins to develop leaves and other branches, moisture no longer needs to be applied to the foliage. The plant will do best in partial sun/partial shade environments. If rain is expected during this period, it will do best indoors, so as not to become overly moist.

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anon327630
Post 1

It was kind of an accident for us; I bought a couple of cheap poinsettias at Christmas and a couple of branches fell down and came off as soon as we got home!

My mom put them in an old water bottle with some water and it looked nice in our kitchen. As time wore on, I was surprised when they didn't die. Finally, one of them just rooted! It's been more than three months. The other two still haven't.

But I think the one that rooted we got into the water right away compared to the others. I always kill cuttings when it's time to change the water, but she said to just add more, so that's what I did. Now, I need to figure out how deep to plant the one that rooted (I live in Florida)!

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