Poinsettia Re-Potting

(Question)

I have managed to keep my poinsettia for at least 4 years and have had it rebloom. Is it time to repot my plant?

(Answer)
Not too many people manage to keep their poinsettia from year to year and have it re-bloom. You are obviously doing something right and maybe you should leave well alone. Most articles on poinsettias say “repot if necessary”. The ten thousand dollar question is how do you determine that?
Typical signs of a pot-bound plant include:
  • roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pot
  • cracks developing in the pot itself
  • a white crust of salt accumulating on the soil surface
  • constantly having to water the plant

Most of these signs mean the plant is too large for the pot.

If you make the decision to repot then go one pot size larger. Plant pots usually come in a range from #1, #2, #3 and #5 to #7, #10, #15 on up to #20 or higher. If your pot is a #7 the next size up is a #10. If you purchase a new pot make sure it has adequate drainage holes.
The time to repot is when you see new shoots beginning to develop on your plant. This most likely will be between mid March and early May. This task is best done outside and use newspaper to contain any loose soil. First prepare the new pot. Put a layer of fresh potting soil on the bottom of your new container. Just enough for the plants root mass to sit on it leaving about an inch from the rim of the container. Hold the old pot on its side, tap around the pot to loosen the soil and finally the plant should tip out.  Place it on the layer of potting soil, adding more soil around the root ball to fill in the pot. Firm down and water. Do not over water. That should do it.
There are pros and cons regarding the repotting of plants. Be prepared.  Your plant may not like having its roots disturbed during repotting and it may not thrive in the way it had been. Therefore, you may want to leave it alone until it shows signs of not doing so well and then repot. That’s a decision you are going to have to make. Hopefully this response will help you decide. Good luck.