Care tips for beautiful poinsettias. How to keep this winter favourite looking good for longer.

Want a gorgeous poinsettia to last in your home all winter long? There’s no secret to it. Caring for this decorative indoor plant is much easier than you might think. The experts from Stars for Europe (SfE) give tips on how to make sure your poinsettia’s bracts keep their distinctive colour for longer.

Buy wisely

In shops, you can spot a healthy plant at first glance by its bright, colourful bracts and dense, green foliage with no visible damage. The tiny, yellow-green flowers between the coloured bracts are an important indicator of freshness; they should still be in bud when you buy the plant. We also recommend taking a closer look at where the plant has been placed and its soil. Poinsettias should never be displayed outside in temperatures below 15°C.

Care tips at home

Poinsettias like a bright, warm location. A spot near a window and an ambient temperature between 15 and 22°C is ideal. At our latitudes, direct sunlight is no problem in winter.
Important: When ventilating your home, make sure the plant is not exposed to draughts.

Poinsettias don’t like dryness or “wet feet”. They are particularly sensitive to waterlogging. The best thing for the poinsettia is moderate watering with lukewarm water as soon as the soil dries out. An alternative to regular watering is to immerse the plant in water, about once a week, depending on the size of the plant, ambient temperature and where it’s located. In any case, remember to drain off excess water after about 15 minutes.

Tip: Mini poinsettias and plants placed near a heat source, such as radiators, dry out more quickly so will need watering more often. Fertilising is not necessary during the flowering period. Afterwards, just add a standard plant food solution to the water once a month.

Steer clear of plants placed in a draughty entrance area too. Finally, the soil should be neither dripping wet nor dry as dust. Once you’ve found the perfect plant, wrap it up well for the journey home and bring it indoors quickly to protect it from cold and draughts.

Poinsettias as cut flowers

As cut flowers, poinsettias have an amazingly long vase life. They will stay fresh for about two weeks in a bouquet or flower arrangement if the ends of their stems are first held in hot water (approx. 60°C) for a few seconds immediately after cutting, then immediately placed in cold water to stop their sap from escaping.

Großer panaschierter, blush-farbener Weihnachtsstern mit einem Kranz aus Zweigen; im Anschnitt fotografiert, Hintergrund apricotfarben

Getting poinsettias to bloom again

Poinsettias are perennials. In the wild they grow into impressive shrubs up to four metres high. After the end of the flowering period when they lose their colourful bracts, they turn into lush foliage plants.

For a poinsettia to develop coloured leaves again in time for the festive season, it must first be kept in complete darkness for 12 to 13 hours a day for at least eight weeks.

Even the smallest amount of light during the daily blackout period will stop it flowering again. With all this effort, it’s much easier to buy a new plant before the festive season.