How to Make Cuttings From a Poinsettia Plant
A poinsettia is a plant which is most commonly associated with the festive period. This is why it is often referred to as a Christmas plant. It is a beautiful red flowering plant which is noted for blooming during the colder months of the year. They bring joy to any home, but will need to be cared for properly if we want to help it last. Once we know how to care for one poinsettia plant, we can make the home even more beautiful by having more. This requires a process known as propagating. It involves using cuttings from one plant to grow another.
At oneHOWTO, we show you how to make cuttings from a poinsettia plant. You can learn everything you need to know about propagating poinsettia plants so you can reproduce them at home for yourself or even to give as gifts.
When to make poinsettia cuttings
When propagating a poinsettia, it is important you make the cuttings at the right time of year. This will help us to avoid damaging the plant and have a better chance of reproducing a poinsettia successfully. We should never make cuttings from a plant when it is at its peak flowering stage. The time to do this is when its leaves start to fall.
At Christmas, the poinsettia is in all its splendor. We need to focus on giving the plant its basic care to ensure it blooms well. This means we need to avoid over-watering, keep it away from cold drafts and provide it with sufficient natural light. You can learn how to do this before, during and after with our guide to caring for poinsettia plants.
The best time to make poinsettia cuttings is in early to mid-February. The earliest you should do this is the end of January. Any time before could be too hasty and cause damage to the plant.
How to take cuttings from a poinsettia
Taking poinsettia cuttings is a simple practice that is very rewarding when you see how a new and beautiful plant emerges from a simple stem. After flowering, when you see that the leaves dry and begin to fall, look at the steps you must follow to make the poinsettia cuttings:
- First, look at the plant and choose the stem (or stems) to cut. It must be a green stem (not dry), long enough to show the characteristic knots or buds and have a minimum thickness (around the thickness of a pencil).
- Having selected the stem, you need pruning shears or a sharp knife. Disinfect this tool with a little alcohol and proceed to prune the plant as a whole. Cut all the flowers, leaving the stems approximately half the size they were. In doing so, you prepare the mother plant for a good future and continued flowering. Do this with gloves because the milky liquid (latex) that the stems can release in the cut is an irritant.
- To seal the cuts and protect the plant from possible infections, apply a little fungicide to them. Mix the fungicide with the latex that comes from the cut stem (as if it were a paste).
- After this step, it is time to obtain the cutting. Cut the stem that you had selected from the base. This is the area closest to the main stem or the soil of the pot.
- Once the cutting is obtained, you will have to root it in a new pot.
Before we show you how to reproduce the poinsettia cutting in a new pot, we should point out that this plant can have some issues with members of the family. Find out more in our article on whether poinsettia is poisonous to cats.
How to root poinsettia cuttings
You have two possibilities to get propagate the poinsettia and ensure the cutting takes root:
- The first is simply to submerge the base of the stem in a small container with water. Always ensure you keep the stem vertical (placing it in a bottle of water is a good option). When the stem begins to take root, you should plant it in a pot. A trick to stimulate the development of the roots is to add a small amount of cinnamon previously dissolved in water to the container.
- The second is more commonly recommended because it avoids the stem rotting in the water. This requires you to plant it directly in a small pot. Where possible, use a biodegradable container so that you can later insert it directly into a larger pot. This small pot must contain a good substrate in which there is sufficient perlite to ensure good aeration of the soil and has nutrients provided by worm castings.
When can a poinsettia be transplanted?
To transplant the cutting to its final location, you will have to have a little patience and observe its evolution. The first roots can take several weeks to emerge, usually between two and four, although each plant is different and this period can be prolonged. Only when you see that the first leaves begin to emerge from the buds of the stem, you can transplant your new poinsettia to its final pot. You can also plant it in a garden if the climate suits.
Ideally transplant the cutting and also the root ball. It is best to wait between one and two months. You can take advantage of the spring (you must have pruned and made cuttings at the end of January/beginning of February) to carry out the final transplant and help your poinsettias ‘enjoy’ their new location. This is best if you want them to be ready for the next Christmas.
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