With their varying shades of cheery colors, poinsettias are the best-selling potted plant in the United States and Canada, and if taken care of properly, their bright displays can last for several weeks or longer.
Care. If you bought a poinsettia for Christmas, hopefully you have placed it near a sunny window or other well-lit location. Don’t let the plant touch the cold window pane. Also, keep the poinsettia away from cold drafts or heat sources. Poinsettias prefer temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water. Water needs can be determined with your finger. Check the potting soil daily. When the soil surface becomes dry to the touch, water the plant until water begins to flow out the bottom of the pot. The pots of most poinsettias are placed inside decorative pot covers. When watering a poinsettia, carefully remove the pot covering, water the plant in the sink, then drop the poinsettia back into the pot cover.
Both over- and under-watering cause problems for poinsettias. Over-watering will cause the lower leaves to turn yellow and drop. Over-watered plants may also develop root rots and die. Dry plants wilt and also drop leaves prematurely.
What about after the holidays? If given good care in the home, poinsettias should remain attractive for two to three months. Toss the poinsettia when you grow tired of it or it becomes unattractive.