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Poinsettias and How to Care For Them

Looking for ways to care for your poinsettias so they survive the holidays and thrive beyond? Learn how to take care of poinsettia plants with these tips.

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 thrive through the holidays and beyond.

Have you bought yours yet?

If so, here are a few poinsettias care tips to keep them happy and healthy.

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What Are Poinsettias?

The poinsettia plant is a popular holiday plant that comes in a variety of colors, brightens up any winter decor, and can be treated like a house plant.

It is the Christmas star of the holiday season as they are popular plants that come in a range of colors.

They can be found at garden centers, nurseries, a big box store (like Home Depot or Lowes), or local market around the last week of November and the winter holidays.

Also known as euphorbia pulcherrima, poinsettias are widely popular during the Christmas season and are often given as gifts. They are tropical plants that grow wild in the deciduous forests of Central America.

What you need to know about poinsettias care
Red Poinsettias

Poinsettia Care Tips

With some care, poinsettias can continue to thrive after the holidays and possibly re-bloom next Christmas with the proper care.

But poinsettias can be fussy to maintain throughout the year.

Here are some poinsettias care tips to keep them happy during the holiday season and beyond.

Cover Poinsettias Well Before Transporting

If you are choosing your own poinsettias, make sure they are wrapped well before venturing into the cold.

Poinsettias can suffer if exposed to a low daytime temperature or nighttime temperatures, even for a few minutes.

It is healthier for poinsettias to unwrap it from the foil and set in a plastic saucer or re-pot it in fresh potting soil.

Note: Keeping the foil wrapped around the plastic pot will retain water and rot the roots.

close up of colorful red and cream bracts on a poinsettia plant - How to Care for Poinsettias

The Best Growing Conditions for Poinsettia Care

Ideal room daytime and night temperatures to keep poinsettias in bloom is between 65-70 degrees F.

For the best poinsettias care, they should be in a room with lots of bright, indirect light.

Close up of red poinsettia - How to Care for Poinsettia Plant

Place them near a sunny window that gets full sun to receive the most available sunlight. A window that faces south, east or west is better than one facing north.

Also, keep them away from a cold window, drafts and appliances. Do not place poinsettia flowers on a hot or warm surface. Because hot or cold drafts can cause premature leaf drop.

Move poinsettias to a cooler spot at night if possible.

A variety of colorful poinsettia plants with different colored bracts at the garden nursery

How to Water Poinsettia Plants

For best results, water poinsettias only when dry and do not let the plant sit in water or the roots will rot.

While they enjoy regular watering, too much or not enough water can be a bad thing.

To determine when to water, check daily. When the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, water until it flows from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

And whatever you do, do not leave the plant standing in water.

Make sure you allow the excess water to drain out.

Because that’s a sure fire way to slowly kill a poinsettia plant through root rot.

To learn more about how much to water poinsettias, click here.

garden blogger stacy ling choosing a poinsettia plant from the garden nursery

Want to Get a Poinsettia to Rebloom Next Year?

If you are interested in encouraging the plant to re-bloom, please follow the recommendations from Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

I’ve never done it before with success. To me these plants are too fussy to try to maintain year round, but if you want to try it, I’d follow Rutgers recommendations.

How Long Can You Keep a Poinsettia Alive

In general, poinsettias can flower for about 2-3 months but most only last about 4-6 weeks before the colorful bracts start dropping.

So much like my theory on garden mums, it’s a good idea to plan when you want to buy them to get the most out of them.

various poinsettias at the garden nursery with houseplants - How to Care for Poinsettias

My Perspective on Poinsettias Care

Much like garden mums, I view poinsettias as a holiday plant that looks great with my Christmas tree and is meant to bloom through the holidays.

So to me, they are better for holiday decorating than they are as a houseplant and I treat them as such.

I know several people that keep them for the following year and get them to re-bloom again for the next holiday season, but I’m not one of them.

To me, the best way to enjoy them is during the holidays and then I’m happy to be done with them.

I don’t want them taking up the real estate in my house for other houseplants.

And if I’m spending that much time caring for a houseplant, it’s going to be one that isn’t quite as fussy, like these.

close up of red poinsettia -How to Care for Poinsettias

Can You Keep a Poinsettia Year After Year?

Yes it is possible to keep and care for a poinsettia year round. I know people who have successfully done it.

It’s just not me!

Like I said before, if a plant needs a lot of care and maintenance, I steer clear.

Can I Plant My Poinsettia Outside?

If you really want to try it, wait until all danger of frost has passed and make sure you care for the poinsettia outside.

How much care is involved?

Before you plant, cut the poinsettia back halfway. Place the poinsettia plant in a sunny but well-drained spot that is protected from high winds.

If it’s anything like my houseplants, it will rebound with lots of fresh new growth.

Good luck – and let me know if it takes!

Can a Poinsettia Go Outside in Summer?

I’ve not tried this before, but you can treat it like other houseplants and see what it does.

Wait until all danger of frost has passed. Then bring outdoors and maintain in a shady spot that received a lot of light.

Water as needed and fertilize regularly.

I would use a slow release fertilizer so I only needed to fertilize once while it’s outside.

Since we moved, I may try doing it this way this year because I have the sunroom where it will get a lot of light during the winter and can easily bring it outside in spring when it warms up.

red and white poinsettias at the garden nursery in the greenhouse -How to Care for Poinsettias

Want to Learn How to Decorate With Fresh Greens for the Holidays?

Sign up here to get my email and get a discount on my ebook, 15 Easy Ways to Decorate With Fresh Greens for the Holidays that offers beautiful, budget-friendly, and sustainable holiday decorating inspiration using fresh greens from the landscape.

This 40-page guide is full of simple DIY holiday decorating ideas that includes how to cut, care for, and design with fresh greens, as well as tips to purchase and incorporate faux greens with your holiday decorating style to create a cozy, beautiful, and organic vibe.

From porch styling to cozy centerpiece and tablescape inspiration, wait until you try these budget-friendly holiday decorating ideas using fresh greens for every room in your home.

hanging basket of winter greens on the porch

Looking For More Christmas Decorating Ideas?

I love looking through festive holiday inspiration to get ideas for this year’s decorating aesthetic, don’t you?

Wait until you see these holiday decorating, entertaining, and food ideas to create a cozy home for Christmas.

first Christmas in our home tour

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The Ultimate Guide to Poinsettias Care

What You Need to Know About Poinsettias Care

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  1. Pingback: Weekly Rambles - Lora Bloomquist~Create & Ponder
  2. Wow! Great info. I didn’t know this. In Florida, they plant their poinsettias outside in the garden. They grow into huge shrubs. They are beautiful.