The holidays are really over now and you are stuck with a symbol of Christmas you'd like to keep for next year and have it bloom again: the poinsettia. Well it will be tricky but the internets say it could be done.
As a disclaimer I have to say that my plant lost it's leaves nearly as soon as I brought it back home from the store. So if I am now trying to preserve it is because I am stubborn but also because I neglected it during the holidays when I was not home and to my surprise it is doing quite well, maybe better then before.
The internet says I am to trim just under the flowers and then leave the plant as it is, in a sunny place until Spring. Then, when the nights are warm, I could even take it outside, anyway, give it lots of light. If come summer the plant is too big, I should repot it in a bigger pot or inthe same pot and maybe even trim it a bit. After Sept. 21st, I am to keep it in a dark place from 5 in the evening to 7 or 8 in the morning. It needs about 15 hrs of total darkness a day to develop those red leaves. After end of November I can already take it out and hopefully come next Christmas I will have a nice colored plant.
I don't know why this plant from Mexico is such a Christmas hit, must have something to do with the American consumerism and I have never had one that lasted past the holidays but I would like for my green thumb to work magic on this one plant. Do tell me if you ever managed to make one bloom and have colored leaves in the second year.
Picture from newplantsandflowers.com my plant does not look so well, in fact it has a total of 3 green leaves..