For healthy growth, a poinsettia requires a bright, warm location. It should neither be subjected to direct sun nor to strong draughts. For this reason, a windowsill is generally not an ideal location, as draughts can reach the plant via tilted windows.
During the summer, it is essential that the plant is not placed in direct sun. However, if appropriately shaded, your poinsettia can be placed on a windowsill. In winter, a couple of hours of sun per day do not harm your plant. Nevertheless, the poinsettia should receive less than 12 hours of light/sun per day so that it can properly develop the colourful, intensive shades of the bracts.
When the days become shorter, the poinsettia starts to flower. Plants from the previous year have to be “tricked” into flowering prior to Christmas. Because many households remain illuminated until the late evening, the day is still too long for the plants, in spite of it being winter. The poinsettia should receive less than 12 hours of light/sun per day so that it can properly develop the colourful, intensive shades of the bracts. In order to simulate shorter days, the plant should be kept for approximately six weeks in a darkened room for 12 hours, or alternatively should be protected from the light by a cardboard box. This simple trick will make your poinsettia flower.
Depending on requirements and personal taste, your poinsettia can also be decorated with gold thread or little stars. It is up to your personal taste to decide whether the plant looks best as it is or whether it needs further embellishment.
Photo: © Andreas Blakkolb - Fotolia.com