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I have a Poinsettia that I've been caring for since xmas. I've taken a look at online guides and they all seem to be focused on making the leaves turn red near xmas.

Is this a process that's crucial to the life of a Poinsettia? What happens if I treat it as a regular house plant (i.e. just regular care, without the whole complete darkness process)? Does it just die off by itself after a while?

I'm interested in keeping it alive for as long as I can and turn it into a large bush, rather than have its leaves turn red each xmas.

Its current state: poinsettia pic

I haven't done much more than watering it so far, while keeping it in indirect sunlight in a ~22 C room.

It had about three or four leaves that covered the surface of the soil entirely, all of them having large edges that were sort of rusty and completely dry (the edges stopped advancing in the past couple of months), sort of like this:

enter image description here

I cut those leaves off and revealed that the plant also started branching out from near the start of the stem.

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The poinsettia is often grown in tropical countries as a shrubby hedge. There is no reason you cannot keep yours going. It will be unlikely to turn red by itself without some prompting. Growers have a number of techniques to turn the leaves red that most people find too much work. Specifically the requirement that

the plants need 14-15 hours of uninterrupted darkness daily, and nighttime temperatures around 65 degrees

for a period of time in the fall.

The only problem I see is that when they do not have red leaves under typical interior light conditions these plants look straggly and are not very attractive.

To turn it into a large bush you should put it outside all summer and bring indoors for the winter. Only high light levels will yield the kind of growth you want.

hedge along Camarillo California

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  • All attempts I've seen to keep these going resulted in leggy plants. These were all indoors. I'd hazard that in order to make compact growth it has to receive a lot of sun.
    – Tim Nevins
    Apr 23 '20 at 19:39

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