After Christmas you need to decide whether or not to keep your beautiful poinsettia plant. Obviously if it looks bad the decision is simple, toss it. But did you know that when your poinsettia looks bad, that cutting it back would probably get it growing again and that it could be saved. When to cut back your poinsettia is not as important as it can be in January, February, March or you could wait as long as the first of August-but that is it. Come August 1st you must cut it back for proper scheduling and blooming for the following Christmas.
At the time when you do decide to cut back your poinsettia, that would be a good time to re-pot it, place it in a very bright spot and start a regular fertilizing program. During the summer months your poinsettia would be much happier if placed outside in a somewhat protected spot on your patio. Water often and use fertilizer with every watering. Be sure to bring your poinsettia back inside in early September. Remember to cut it back, no matter how great it looks, in early August. Cutting it back in August, then continuing to grow for another 4 to 6 weeks outside before bringing it inside, is the best thing you could do for your poinsettia.
Also, while you are cutting it back, consider thinning it out by completely removing some of the very thick branches as the best growth and best flowers will grow on young, new growth-not on old growth.
Bringing your poinsettia back into bloom is something you need not worry about until mid-September. At that time, simply place your plant into a spare bedroom in front of a sunny window, water and fertilize normally and never turn on any lights after dark. And keep your plant “out of the closet”! Your poinsettia will naturally come into bloom by Christmas.