How to Care for Poinsettia Plants


Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), is a brightly colored plant that will add a festive air to your home during the winter holidays. Although poinsettias are often red, the big blooms are also available in white, yellow, pink and white, as well as marbled or speckled varieties. Although poinsettias are often discarded after the holidays, with proper care, your poinsettia plant will remain beautiful for weeks, and in some cases, will survive for many months.

Step 1

Remove any plastic or paper wrappings immediately. Check the bottom of the container to be sure the plant has adequate drainage. If the container is wrapped in foil, poke several holes in the bottom to allow water to drain freely.

Step 2

Place the plant where it will be exposed to bright, indirect light for six to eight hours each day. Keep the plant away from cold drafts and don't allow the foliage to touch a window, as the cold can injure the plant.

Step 3

Keep the plant in a moderately warm room with daytime temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees F. Move the plant into a cooler room at night with temperature approximately 55 degrees F. Avoid placing the plant near heat vents or hot appliances, as heat will shorten the life of the plant.

Step 4

Check the soil moisture every day and water the plant whenever the top of the soil feels dry to the touch. Water until water runs through the bottom of the pot. Allow the plant to drain and don't let the pot stand in water.

Step 5

Fertilize the poinsettia after the first month if you plant to keep it. Feed the plant every two weeks, using a fertilizer for blooming plants. At this point, remove the foil wrapper and treat the plant like a normal houseplant.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer for blooming plants (optional)


  • University of Illinois: Caring for Poinsettia
Keywords: care for poinsettia, poinsettia plant, grow a poinsettia, pointsettia care

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.