Let's see how long you can make a colorful poinsettia's "flowers" last…will it be weeks or maybe even months!
1. Caring for your plant begins as soon as you buy it. It's important to protect the poinsettia from cold air when you walk outside between the store and your home. The best way to insulate your plant is to either wrap it in newspapers or put it inside two paper bags.
2. Another important step to keeping a poinsettia looking good is providing the correct amount of water. The soil should be kept slightly moist, but not soggy, at all times. Test the surface with your finger and water when it's just dry to the touch. If left unchecked, over- or under-watered plants will lose leaves.
3. After each watering, dump out the extra water that runs into the saucer or pot wrap out. It's not good to leave a plant sitting in water. A symptom of this is the leaves start to turn yellow.
4. Display your poinsettia near a south-, east- or west-facing window (a bright sunny room). This will keep the color of the leaves a nice dark green.
5. It may be tempting to place your plant on a table near a doorway, but don't. Poinsettias are sensitive to drafts and they can cause the leaves to fall off. The same consideration goes for setting it in the path of an air vent or directly next to a cold window.
6. Never display a poinsettia on top of a radiator or appliance. The heat given off will dry the plant out quickly and likely result in an unhealthy-looking plant. Drastic changes in temperature are stressful to poinsettias, plus they like high humidity.
7. On New Year's Day start fertilizing your plant with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Follow the directions on the package.
8. It requires extra steps and attention to make a poinsettia bloom again next year, so we recommend replacing poinsettia plants every holiday. Once the colorful "flowers" start to fall from the plant, then you can get rid of the poinsettia.
Pro Tip: If you live in a frost-free climate, then you can plant poinsettias in your garden rather than disposing of it. Visit our Plant Library to learn more about Landscape Poinsettia.