How to Care for Poinsettias

2 Materials
10 Minutes

Can you believe it's almost Christmas? Now that Thanksgiving is over, I started decorating for the holidays with poinsettias. Do you have any? With proper care, poinsettias can thrive through the holidays and beyond.

Poinsettias are gorgeous holiday plants aren't they? They are so festive, fun, and there are so many varieties to choose from now. I picked up a few from the nursery and want to give them the best care possible so they will continue to thrive through the holidays.

Have you bought yours yet? If so, here are a few tips to keep poinsettias happy and healthy:

How to Care for Poinsettias

With some care, poinsettias can continue to thrive after the holidays and possibly re-bloom the following December. They can be fussy to maintain throughout the year, but if you are interested, here are some tips to caring for them during the holiday season and beyond:

  1. Cover poinsettias well before transporting. If you are choosing your own plant, make sure it is wrapped well before venturing into the cold because the plant can suffer if exposed to low temperatures, even for a few minutes.
  2. It is healthier for the plant to unwrap it from the foil and set in a plastic saucer or re-pot it in fresh potting soil. Keeping the foil wrapped around the plastic pot will retain water and rot the roots.
  3. Ideal room temps to keep poinsettias in bloom is between 65-70 degrees F.
  4. During the day, keep your plant in a room with lots of bright, indirect natural light. Place it near a sunny window where it will receive the most available sunlight. A window that faces south, east or west is better than one facing north. Keep away from drafts and appliances, and do not place on a hot or warm surface. Hot or cold drafts can cause premature leaf drop. Move the plant to a cooler spot at night if possible.
  5. Water only when dry and do not let the plant sit in water or the roots will rot. To determine when to water, check daily. When the surface is dry to the touch, water until it flows from the drainage hole. Do not leave the plant standing in water.

If you are interested in encouraging the plant to re-bloom, please follow these recommendations from the following cooperative extensions:  Rutgers Cooperative Extension and  University of Illinois Extension.

So many poinsettia varieties to choose from!
Always wrap poinsettias before going outside.

Transporting and Gifting

Oftentimes, poinsettias can be found with a plastic wrap around them. Be sure to close off all exposed areas before venturing into the cold to ensure the plant is well protected.

Close off all exposed areas to protect plant.

If the wrap is exposed at the top, ask the cashier to help you seal the top of the plant before leaving the store.

Final Thoughts

While I love poinsettias, I view them as a holiday plant that is meant to bloom through the holidays. I know several people that keep them year round and get them to re-bloom again, but I'm not one of them. To me, I love to enjoy them during the holidays, then I'm happy to be done with them.

Do you care for poinsettias during the holiday season? If yes, do you try to keep them going after? I don't because they are too high maintenance for me. I prefer houseplants that are a little less needy.

For more gardening tips and tricks, click here.

DIY Christmas Decorations

For some festive decor project ideas involving these red plants, discover Hometalk's best  poinsettia Christmas decorations.

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Stacy Ling | Bricks 'n Blooms
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  • Anne Higginbottom Anne Higginbottom on Feb 16, 2020

    I keep my from one year til they died. I have 2 that are 5 years old but i can not get them to bloom again.

    • Mary S. Mary S. on Oct 28, 2023

      I have the same situation/ lovely green leaves. How can I make it bloom again??