How to Keep Poinsettias Alive


Poinsettias are traditionally displayed at Christmastime. The plants, which are commonly red but available in colors such as white and pink as well, add a splash of color to holiday displays. Although many discard their poinsettias after the holidays, the plants can live long and healthy lives as houseplants if given a little attention. With proper care, you can keep your poinsettias for Christmases to come.

Step 1

Place the poinsettia in a spot where it will get at least six hours of indirect light a day.

Step 2

Place the poinsettia in a room that has a daytime temperature of 60 to 70 degrees F and a nighttime temperature of 55 to 60 degrees F. Keep the plant away from drafty locations or where it will be exposed to cold air.

Step 3

Check the soil moisture daily. Water the poinsettia when the soil is dry to the touch until water flows out of the drainage holes of the container.

Step 4

Empty any water that accumulates in the poinsettia's pan after each watering.

Step 5

Remove leaves that wilt or appear dead to allow the water and nutrients to go to the healthy leaves.

Step 6

Fertilize the poinsettia with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer each month, following the manufacturer's directions. Do not fertilize the plant when it is in bloom.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer


  • University of Illinois Extension: Caring for Poinsettias
  • Ohio State University Extension: Poinsettia Care in the Home
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Consumer Poinsettia Care
Keywords: caring for poinsettias, keeping poinsettias alive, how to care for poinsettias

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.