Transplanting Poinsettia Plants: Can You Transplant Poinsettias Outside

Transplanting Poinsettia Plants: Can You Transplant Poinsettias Outside

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By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Transplanting poinsettia plants will ensure they get plenty of root room as they grow and a new source of nutrition. In warm regions, you may also try moving a poinsettia plant outside in a sheltered location. You may not get blooms again, as the plant requires very specialized lighting and treatment, but the notched foliage will still provide outstanding greenery to set off other landscape plants. The secret to healthy plants is knowing how to transplant poinsettias and what continued care they need.

How to Transplant Poinsettias in Containers

Poinsettias are a holiday staple, but once the colorful flower-like bracts are spent, they are just another houseplant. You can try to fool the plant into producing the colorful leaves the next season, but first you have to keep the plant healthy. Some gardeners choose to save the potted plants indoors, especially in cooler regions. Can you transplant poinsettias outside? Absolutely, but there are some special requirements for this Mexican native to keep it thriving and lively.

All container plants need good soil, the right size container and excellent drainage, and poinsettias are no exception. The optimum time for transplanting is late spring to early summer. The University of Minnesota recommends June 15 as your target date.

Choose a container that is 2 to 4 inches larger than the one in which the plant was grown. The soil should be organic, sterile and loose. A purchased blend with peat moss is a good choice. Remove the plant from its pot and loosen the roots gently.

Plant your poinsettia at the same depth it was growing in its previous container. Firm the soil around the roots and water it well. If you are using a saucer under the container, empty any standing water to prevent root rot.

Transplanting Poinsettia Plants Outdoors

Those of us lucky enough to live where there are few to no freezing periods can grow the plant directly outdoors. Can you transplant poinsettias outside in cooler regions? Yes, but make sure you wait until all danger of frost has passed.

Some experts recommend cutting the stems back by half before moving a poinsettia plant, but this isn’t strictly necessary. However, it will encourage new growth which can be pinched to encourage denser plants and more bracts.

Prepare a garden bed in a sunny but protected area, such as the southern wall of your home. Incorporate organic material, like compost, to enrich the garden soil and increase drainage. Dig the hole several inches deep and wider than the root ball. Fill the hole with loose soil to bring it up to the level of the plant’s root ball. Loosen the roots and place the poinsettia in the hole, filling in around the root ball. Water the plant in well.

Additional Tips for Moving Poinsettia Plants

Poinsettias do best in daytime temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 C.) or more and nighttime temperatures of no less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 C.). That means northern gardeners will need to move the plant indoors by the end of summer.

The plant will benefit from half strength liquid plant fertilizer applied in early March and every 3 to 4 weeks. Keep the soil moderately moist but never soggy or completely dried out. Touch the surface of the soil to determine if the plant needs water.

To force the colorful bracts, you will need to start in October providing special conditions. Give the plant 14 hours of darkness and 6 to 8 hours of bright light for 8 to 10 weeks. Nighttime temperatures must be 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 C.) for the plant to get tricked into blooming again.

With a little luck and good care, you may be enjoying a holiday with colorful foliage for weeks.

This article was last updated on

Read more about Poinsettia

Poinsettias require a loose, porous and well-draining soil. A quality, premixed, pasteurized potting soil available commercially is suitable. Alternatively, a homemade mixture composed of three parts sterilized soil, one part perlite or vermiculite and two parts organic matter like peat moss or sterile compost is appropriate. Unpasteurized garden soil or topsoil from the landscape is not suitable for a poinsettia container, because it could contain pathogens and may hold too much moisture.

Poinsettias have brittle roots that are damaged by rough handling thoroughly watering the poinsettia root mass a day or two prior to repotting makes it easier to handle. When repotting, remove the poinsettia from its current container by turning the container upside down with one hand on the soil surface to hold the soil in place. Any diseased roots, which appear dark and soft, should be cut off with a clean, sharp knife tease apart and cut the roots of multiple plants, if necessary. Remove surface soils with accumulated salts. Roots in a tight mass should be loosened or scored with a sharp knife.

How to Transplant a Poinsettia

If your poinsettia becomes root bound, you can repot it into a larger container. This is usually done during the summer months.

Choosing the Container

The new container must have enough holes to ensure adequate drainage.

Although you want to use a larger container, the new container should only be slightly larger. Choose a container that has a diameter that is 2 inches larger than the previous container.

Choosing the Soil

Poinsettia plants need a loose, porous, and well-draining soil.

Choose a good quality premixed potting soil that has been pasteurized to kill any pathogens.

If you wish to make your own soil mixture, combine :

  • 3 parts sterilized soil
  • 2 parts organic matter such as sterile compost
  • 1 part perlite or vermiculite

Removing the Poinsettia

  1. Water the poinsettia root mass a day before you transplant it.
  2. 1 – 2 days after watering, remove the poinsettia from its current planter by turning it upside down while keeping one hand on the soil to hold the soil in place.
  3. If there are any diseased roots, cut them off with a clean, sharp knife.
  4. If the roots are in a tight mass, they should be gently loosened.

Repotting the Poinsettia

  1. Damp potting soil should be placed at the bottom of the larger container. The soil should be in a thick enough layer that the top of the poinsettia root mass will be about an inch below the lip of the container.
  2. Place the poinsettia in the container, then gently add damp potting soil into the space around the roots. If needed, add damp soil above the root mass. Then gently press the soil down.
  3. Water the plant thoroughly.


Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on April 23, 2020:

You may recall, but probably will not, reading a Hub on seeds from previous years that might and might not be viable still this year. I am curious, will you still be gardening now, eight years later? My wife and I have turned our .25 Acre garden/orchard lot into what some term "The Garden of Eden" and now, years later, this is what it has to offer, in addition to a seasonal garden often using left over seeds from previous years. Soon we will have cherries, apricots, strawberries, rhubarb, and vegetables. Peaches, pears, blackberries, Asian pears, apples, plums, and plumcots, too! Even Saskatoon blueberries. We even have manna! Dandelion greens, chives, and chicory. Even goji berries, grapes, and add the Nanking cherries. and hardy figs, English walnuts, and black walnuts, along with red currants, black currants, raspberries, and a young pomegranate tree. As to existing vegetable annuals, add on elephant garlic and Jerusalem artichoke. We have also planted lots of flowers, especially roses, honeysuckle, mullein, hollyhocks, tulips, daffodils, and several varieties of mint.

Watch the video: Dont Throw Away Poinsettias After Christmas