Other than the fact that poinsettias are known as the “Christmas flower”, few other flowers are as misunderstood as this one. Do you put it in a closet and ignore it after Christmas? Is it really poisonous? Can you bring it back for another year…just like the 10 pound fruitcake in the freezer? Let’s find out more about these beauties…

  • Poinsettias are native to Mexico, Central and South America.
  • Poinsettias come in traditional red, creamy white, light and rosy pink, lemon and peach.
  • The colorful bloom on the poinsettia is actually a set of leaves surrounding tiny yellow flowers in the center of the leaf ‘bunch’.
  • Yes, poinsettias are poisonous to pets and people. Ingesting poinsettias will require medical attention.
  • Poinsettias can be brought back for another year of enjoyment, but it is difficult due to the fact that few people follow through on the requirements for doing so.


Poinsettias love water. Don’t let them dry out. If the soil on top is dry, give your plant a drink. They also love light-at least 5 hours of sunlight (indirect) per day.

Poinsettias can be kept over if you…

  • Allow your poinsettia to go dormant once it begins to drop its leaves. This is done by withholding water (just a small weekly drink to keep it from drying up) and keeping it in a cool environment (50-60 F). NOTE: It still needs sunlight.
  • In October, place the plant in a dark closet (NO light exposure) from about 5 pm to 7-8 am EACH AND EVERY NIGHT until Thanksgiving or shortly after. The plant will need to spend the rest of the day enjoying indirect sunshine. You should also begin to increase its water supply.
  • After Thanksgiving, treat as you did when you first got it…plenty of water and sunshine.

Poinsettias are abundant during the Christmas holiday ($5 to $15); leaving most of us wondering why we should take up closet space and bother trying….

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