Poinsettias flower in a plant pot on a blanket.

How to Grow Poinsettias at Home

Poinsettias are classic Christmas plants, bringing a splash of festive red and green to the table or windowsill. An attractive bowl, planted up with one or two, makes a cheery winter gift.

Find the ideal spot

To keep them looking good, give poinsettias a sunny, south-facing windowsill, or bright filtered light. Don’t press them close to a cold windowpane however, because this can damage the leaves. Keep them at about 68°F (20°C) during the day, and cooler at night, to prolong the display.

Watering and feeding

Poinsettias should be watered regularly and kept evenly moist. Never let plants sit in water; always empty their saucers or planters shortly after watering.

Getting it to bloom again

With year-round care, you can get a plant to perform again. Water it until mid-spring, then let it dry out and allow the stems to shrivel. Keep it cool. At the end of spring, cut all growth to a couple of inches above the soil and repot it in new soil. Water well and keep it warm, feeding it with houseplant fertilizer when new growth appears. A month later, move the plant outside to a shady spot, pinching out the growing tips in midsummer, before returning it indoors.

Give it a sunny spot, watering and feeding regularly; then from mid-autumn, keep the plant in total darkness between 5pm and 8am. It will then re-flower and produce colorful bracts.

Tips: Leaf drop

It is common for a few poinsettia leaves to turn yellow and drop off when you first bring them home. Don’t be alarmed, the plant is just reacting to its new living conditions.