Learn How to Grow a Big Poinsettia as a Tree and flaunt this colorful specimen indoors or in your garden during the holiday season!
Here are some top tips and tricks on How to Grow a Big Poinsettia as a Tree to help you have this wonderful plant as a focal point in your room or garden!
Choose the Right Poinsettia
If you want to grow poinsettia as a tree, then keep in mind that not all varieties can be trained to grow tall.
For the unique tree-like look, go for large and vigorous cultivars like ‘Prestige Maroon,’ ‘Viking Red,’ ‘Freedom White,’ White Wonder,’ J’adore Pink,’ Santa Claus Pink,’ Visions of Grandeur, and ‘Monet Twilight.’
Note: While starting a poinsettia as a tree, do remember hybrid poinsettias are usually compact, whereas heirlooms attain a good height.
How to Grow Poinsettia as a Tree?
1. Select the Right Pot
To make sure the poinsettia takes a tree-like shape, use the size container size. Start the plant in a container that is one size bigger than the root ball–an 8 to 12 inches pot would be great, and then keep transferring it to a bigger container as it reaches a good height.
Remember, keeping it in a smaller pot will limit its development, while a little-too-bigger pot will also slow down the growth, so it’s best to select the pot that is neither too big nor too small.
Note: If you live in a warm climate, growing poinsettia on the ground is also one great way to make it bigger.
2. Use Gibberellic Acid
Gibberellic acid is scientifically proven to stimulate the elongation of cell division in poinsettias. It is also used by commercial growers to enhance plant growth. However, it is important to use higher levels of concentration (50 ppm) for notable changes.
For easy application, look for the powdered form and mix one pinch of the hormone in one-gallon water. Mix well and use it to water the poinsettias once in 4-6 weeks for best results.
3. Provide Sunlight
As a rule of thumb, Poinsettias are displayed as houseplants under the shade. However, providing the plant with a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight is important to help it grow in its full glory.
Do not expose the plant to the afternoon sun, as that might burn the foliage.
4. Stake The Plant at the Right Time
Stake your poinsettia tree so it won’t grow downwards or sideways. However, doing it at the right time is really important as it will help the stems to grow straight and strong from a young age.
The best time to stake the plant is when it reaches a height of 1-2 feet. You can use a plastic, bamboo stake, or iron rods and attach the plant’s main stem with twine.
5. Give it a Tall Appearance by Pruning and Pinching
Remove side branches to maintain a single-stemmed trunk, followed by pinching to encourage the canopy. Eliminate axillary branches and the lower leaves to help the plant focus its energy on making the single-stem trunk tall and strong. Cut off side branches when they are between 1-2 inches long,
Once the single stem is developed into a trunk, avoid removing the foliage, as leaving them will help to boost trunk strength as the plant will absorb more light through them.
6. Protect it from Frost
Keep your poinsettia away from cold and windy conditions, as they can wilt the leaves and bracts. When the temperature dips below 50 F, the cold hardiness of this plant is below its resistance point and results in leaf drop. For this reason, grow plants outdoors in summer and move indoors before any chance of cold emerge.
7. Just Wait!
While doing all these things listed above, the most important is patience. It takes time to develop a poinsettia as a tree, at least a couple of years.
Tips for Maintaining Poinsettia as a Tree
- Keep the poinsettia where it receives at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight. This will give it all the energy it needs to grow tall and maintain a thick and strong main stem.
- Do not expose the plant to harsh afternoon light, as it will scorch its leaves.
- Avoid using regular garden soil for growing poinsettias. Go for a light, well-draining, peat-based potting mix, or amend the garden soil with plenty of organic matter and sand.
- Water the plant when the topsoil feels dry to the touch. Keep in mind that overwatering can kill the plant. Also, do not spray water on the leaves to clean them. Keep them as dry as possible.