With regular fertilization and watering, you can make poinsettias to re-bloom the following year.
Prominent for their vibrant coloured bracts, poinsettias can be fertilized using a well-balanced fertilizer. Though it is recommended to use liquid fertilizer, you can also apply dry fertilizer to this flowering plant.
Along with fertilization, proper watering is essential to ensure the roots easily absorb nutrients.
You can use all-purpose organic fertilizer to enrich the poinsettia plant.
Organic fertilizers are known to be free from harmful synthetic elements, and they gradually release nutrients into the soil.
The best thing about poinsettias is that you can use homemade fertilizer for poinsettia plants.
Old compost in your backyard can be an excellent source of essential nutrients for this flowering plant. Free from chemical elements, compost made from kitchen scraps can give an initial boost to your Christmas flowering plants.
What Kind of Fertilizer Do Poinsettias Need?
Nutrients that poinsettia needs include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, chloride and molybdenum are needed by this plant.
Poinsettias are heavy feeders, and the nutritional requirement of this plant varies according to its growing stages.
However, weekand.com states poinsettia plants don’t need fertilizer while blooming.
But, after blooming, proper care, which includes fertilizing once a month and regular watering, must be taken to keep poinsettias healthy.
You can use all-purpose fertilizer to enrich poinsettia plants.
- Macro nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are essential for foliage formation, plant growth, root development, and blossom production.
- According to Texas A&M University, potassium is the key element to maintaining healthy poinsettias.
- Apart from NPK, micronutrients like calcium and magnesium are also needed by this flowering plant.
- A deficiency of magnesium can often result in discoloured poinsettia leaves.
- Molybdenum is another crucial element that regulates nitrogen in plants. Deficiency of molybdenum results in curly and yellow leaves.
Most poinsettia plant growers use liquid fertilizer to enrich the plant. You can also use granular and slow-releasing fertilizers.
7 Best Homemade Fertilizers for Poinsettias
You get a balanced liquid fertilizer from the store to enrich your potted poinsettias. But if you want to make your homemade natural fertilizer for poinsettia plants, this is for you.
As mentioned above, like most indoor plants, poinsettias need primary and secondary nutrients for optimal growth.
Most store available fertilizer includes macro and micronutrients needed by the plant. Similarly, natural and organic fertilizers also include the full spectrum of plant nutrients.
Without any ado, let’s check those best home-available fertilizers for poinsettias.
1. Compost – Best Natural Fertilizer
Soil control labs collected 1,600 compost samples from the Southwestern US to check its nutrients.
Though nutrient levels may vary depending on the climatic conditions and material used, average compost in the US does include primary and secondary nutrients essential for plant growth.
Compost is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It also includes calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and manganese.
- Mix well-rotted compost and potting soil to encourage the initial growth of poinsettias.
- You can also apply compost around the potted poinsettias to encourage the leaf and strengthen the stem.
- As organic fertilizer, compost slowly releases nutrients into the soil.
- You can also use compost tea to feed poinsettia plants.
Well-rotted manure consists of 70% of nitrogen, 60% of phosphorus and 80% of potassium. Along with this, manure also has micronutrients for plant growth.
Cattle or poultry manure improves soil texture and helps to add beneficial microorganisms to it.
- But it would help if you composted or dry manure before applying it on poinsettias.
- You can vermi-compost to convert organic matter to black gold.
- Manure adds organic matter to your potting soil, eventually improving its water retention ability.
3. Coffee Grounds
Myths and facts surround the use of leftover coffee grounds in the garden.
Few claim it is useless, and others say it benefits the plant.
One thing is certain. Coffee grounds can’t replace your fertilizers.
Though packed with 2% nitrogen, 0.3% phosphorus and potassium, you need to use liquid fertilizer along with coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds have little impact on plant growth. But it can improve the water retention ability of the plant.
The best way to use coffee grounds for poinsettias is after composting. Add used coffee grounds to the compost pile and allow it to release nutrients into the soil.
You can use the obtained compost to enrich the poinsettia plants. It would be best to use something other than fresh coffee grounds on plants; read here.
4. Wood Ash
Adding wood ash can help to neutralize soil pH, so conduct a soil test before applying.
Wood ash consists of certain nutrients that can benefit poinsettias. Rich in calcium and potassium, this natural fertilizer can promote optimal growth of poinsettias.
It also has phosphorus, magnesium and sulfur, essential nutrients for this plant’s growth.
Note: Before applying wood ash to plants, ensure the source of this ash must be free from chemical substances.
Spread wood ash around poinsettias and water generously.
5. Banana Peel
Banana peel is packed with potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, but it must be dried before burying directly in the soil.
To avoid flies and fungus gnats, dry banana peel and grind them into fine powder.
Sprinkle the obtained powder around the poinsettias and water regularly.
6. Worm castings
NPK value of worm castings ranges from 1-0-0 to 5-5-3, depending on the feed given to worms.
Earthworms feed on manure and vegetable scraps to defecate nutrient-rich material.
Along with essential nutrients, worm castings have micronutrients that can enhance poinsettia plants.
7. Bone Meal
With a 3-15-0 NPK value, bone meal is one of the best natural fertilizers for poinsettia plants.
This organic material is rich in phosphorus and is extensively used for flowering plants.
You can make a bone meal at home or get one from a local store.
Sprinkle bone meal around the plant and water adequately.
How to Fertilize Poinsettia Plant?
You can use all-purpose fertilizer to enrich poinsettia plants.
Liquid fertilizer with 15-15-15 NPK values can be applied to encourage optimal plant growth.
- Fertilize poinsettia plants in spring and summer.
- Don’t fertilize this flowering plant during the blooming period.
- To encourage optimal plant growth, use liquid fertilizer once a month.
- Avoid over-fertilizing this plant, as it may eventually kill the plant.
How Often to Fertilize Poinsettias?
It is essential to monitor the growth stage of poinsettias before fertilizing.
- Initial stage
- Growth stage
- Dormant or rest period
Add natural fertilizers like compost or worm castings to the potting soil to give an initial boost to the plant.
During the growing stage (spring and summer), applying liquid fertilizer promotes optimal growth.
It would help if you refrained from fertilizing poinsettias after blooming or dormant stage.
When Should I Fertilize Poinsettias?
Fertilize poinsettias when they are growing actively, which is usually from late spring to early autumn.
Start fertilizing when you see new growth, and do it after every 3-4 weeks. As mentioned above, avoid fertilizing poinsettias in winter when not growing much.
Can You Use Miracle Grow on Poinsettias?
You can use miracle-gro to enrich poinsettia plants.
Water soluble miracle-gro consists of high concentrations of essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
It also consists of secondary nutrients that can encourage optimal plant growth.
Poinsettias Fertilizing Tips
Proper fertilization is essential for the active growth of poinsettias.
- Use balanced 15-15-15 or 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer to enrich the potting soil.
- The frequency of fertilization is very crucial. So, apply fertilizer once every 3-4 weeks during active growing season.
- Stop fertilizing poinsettias during blooming and when they enter the dormant phase.
- Prune poinsettias in late April to encourage optimal growth.
- Provide adequate lighting and ideal temperature to complement proper fertilization.
- Poinsettias can’t survive in the cold, so bring the plant indoors if the temperature is below 50F.
You can either use liquid fertilizer or homemade natural fertilizer to enrich poinsettias.
Along with macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, poinsettias need calcium, magnesium and molybdenum for ideal growth.
Natural fertilizers like compost, bone meal, worm castings, and compost tea can supply the required nutrients to this plant.