Don’t Throw out your Poinsettia! Houseplant it!

Poinsettias are a holiday decor favorite, but many people don’t realize that they can be kept as houseplants all year round. I certainly didn’t know you could keep them beyond Christmas & I used to throw away my poinsettias when I took down the rest of our Christmas decorations. Then I came across this video from MIGardener & realized that I was throwing away my poinsettias for no reason. Read on for my easy poinsettia tutorial.

poinsettia tutorial picture
Say goodbye to those red leaves of yours, poinsettia!

Materials

  • Poinsettia
  • 10 – 12-Inch Pot
  • Potting Soil
  • Scissors/Pruners
  • Gloves
  • Water

Method

  1. Put on gloves. (This is important because poinsettias are poisonous, you don’t want their milk touching your skin)
  2. Fill your pot halfway with potting soil.
  3. Remove the poinsettia from its pot. Make sure to rough up the roots if the plant is root-bound.
  4. Place the poinsettia in its new pot, making sure that the root ball is about 2 inches from the top of the pot. Fill the pot with soil around the root ball. Firmly pat the soil around the root ball.
  5. Cut off the poinsettia’s red leaves plus one green leaf below the red leaves. 
  6. Water the plant until water comes out of the bottom of the pot.
  7. Place near a sunny window & water whenever the top inch of soil is dry.

Tips

  • Remember to not touch the plant’s milk, it is poisonous & it will irritate your skin.
  • Keep poinsettias away from pets & kids.
  • You can place the poinsettia outside in the spring & leave it there until the fall when freezing temperatures approach.
  • If you want to make your poinsettia turn red again you will need to bring it inside in the fall & give it specific full shade conditions. Read about it here.
  • You have to cut off the red leaves in order for the plant to survive. If you don’t the whole plant will die.
  • Make sure to repot in a large pot because poinsettias grow fast.
cut poinsettia branch image
Here’s my gloved hand showing you how your cut poinsettia branches should look. Make sure to include one green leaf.
poinsettia with red leaves cut off image
There she is, all trimmed up & ready to grow.

It has become a Christmas tradition of ours to buy a poinsettia from a local historical destination named Cantigny. Cantigny is known for its large show-stopping poinsettias & it’s always a real treat to see them every year. We buy them from a friend who sells them for a local nonprofit. I’ve never seen poinsettias as large as Cantigny’s before, they are about 3 times the size of the ones you normally find at a big box store. I have been repotting them for 3 years now & it’s always fun to see them put on new growth. It’s fun showing them to people in the middle of summer too. Who has a poinsettia in the summer? You will if you follow this tutorial.

Need a few more houseplant tips to help your poinsettia thrive indoors? Read my 3 best houseplant tips article.

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