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Eye Candy Friday


And the age old question is: what do we do with the poinsettia now that Christmas is over?

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. I nurture mine until the leaves drop, looks unsightly and then toss it. I used to try and resurrect it for the following year, but it never looked very good. The white leaves against the blushing ones is beautiful.

  2. Very pretty! Sounds like you can plant it, but I’d have thought you’d need to be higher than zone 6 to pull that off. With this winter it might just work though.

  3. Yeah, what Margene said. I’ve tried and tried and tried and TRIED to keep them alive — all for naught. Well, I can keep them alive, but to bring them back to flower? It’s impossible, without a commercial greenhouse, sad to say. Just chuck it when it loses its bracts.

  4. That is the age old question, isn’t it? They’re so gorgeous when you bring them into the house during the holiday season but start grating on your nerves after New Year’s. I usually keep mine around until mid-January…when I finally get over the *but they’re perfectly good plants* feeling and give them the heave-ho.
    Your white one may have longer staying power. It’s a beauty.

  5. For some reason the white ones seem to last longer. I’m sure there’s a ton of advice online on how to recycle them, year after year, all of which I for one will continue to ignore in favor of Margene’s wise words.

  6. I’ve kept one for 4 years now…It’s A LOT of work but with a little TLC you’ll never have to buy another! Yes, all the leaves will drop but keep the soil damp to the touch (not soaking) in the spring cut it back by 1/3, put it outside. It’ll turn the most beautiful green. Treat it like any other plant. When the nights begin to cool bring it inside. Then…every October 1 I put in in my darkroom (or you can use a dark closet) for 16 hours…midday I give it light until the sun goes down then back in the closet it goes…by Dec. 1 the color will start to show and you can see the buds of the flower appearing…once this begins you don’t have to give it any darkness anymore. By Christmas you have a beautiful Poinsettia. Just don’t overwater…they don’t like their feet wet!

    Otherwise…do as the others stated enjoy it then pitch it!

  7. Enjoy then pitch. I have a black thumb anyway, and they are sooo fiddly to deal with. I can’t plant it in the yard, because it’s poisonous to pets and children. Ergo, it went out with the trash yesterday.

  8. If you want to try to keep it, check out the advice at

    It sounds like keeping it going isn’t a big issue but rebloom is. And according to the instructions there, the trick is to keep the plant in total darkness long enough every night, covering it with a paper bag from 5 pm to 8 am if need be, starting the end of September through Dec. 15.

    I may just try for rebloom this year.

  9. If you have a spare room or a place where you don’t turn the lights on every evening, you can keep it there. The timing of the natural light in the north is perfect. Yes, put it outdoors in the spring, and basically, the best thing is to ignore it. Don’t over water. BTW, I have just finished throwing away hundreds of them. I do hate doing it.

  10. Yes, you can plant it outside. Yes, you can keep it indoors and get it to flower again by using the steps Robin posted. I’ve never done that myself, but my grandfather was a florist and I know that is the only way to get them to flower for a second year. 🙂 I would try it myself if I had remembered to buy a poinsettia this year.

  11. I love them too – but I just hate pitching perfectly good plants. If you know anybody in Florida, you could mail it to them – they grow beautifully there outside all year round.

  12. I doubt I would be able to keep one alive long enough to wonder what to do with it after Christmas. 🙂 We don’t get poinsettias because the cats chew on everything, and that would be BAD. I have one (half-dead) houseplant that I had to put in a very odd spot (which is contributing to its half-dead state) to keep the cats from eating it.

  13. Since I think that as I look at them in the stores at Thanksgiving, I wouldn’t know. Just don’t give it to anyone with young children! It’s poisonous! The Garden Club?

  14. I’ve never had a poinsettia of my own so I can’t give you any advice from experience…however, it sounds like a lot of work to try to get it to flower again…I’d be tossing it…if it were me.

  15. My Dad’s had one in his office he’s kept alive for years. Damn thing’s starting to look like a bush. Can’t remember if it’s rebloomed though. I’ll have to ask him.

  16. Try to keep it alive, or give it to someone who feels up to the challenge. I saw one once at a friend’s house the size of a small bush. It wasn’t blooming at the time but looked really interesting all the same. By the way, you are a fabulous photographer. I always enjoy your Friday Eye Candy.

  17. We have a fine and long lasting tradition in our home…. it is likewise- a tradition we carry out without thought or planning…we kill them. Enough said.;)

  18. We planted one outside one year and within a month it was dinner for the biggest, greenest, creepiest catipillars I ever saw…EWWWWW!

  19. That’s an easy question in our house–we never have Poinsettias in the first place. Poisonous to dogs, you know! (Not that most of our dogs have been likely to chew on the plants, but why take chances?) Great picture, though.

  20. Growing up in Florida meant planting the poinsettas each spring. Eventually, we had a hedge along the side of the house, over six feet tall in many areas. Since moving to CT, I find they aren’t the biggest fans of being planted.

    They make lovely mulch, you know.

  21. I’m a “how do I keep it alive?” person, too.

    When you’re done with it, put it in a dark plastic bag in the basement. Cool and dark. Water just a bit only when bone dry. Take it out when you want it to start growing again and put in partial light until it’s used to it. Then full light and treat as normal.

    No guarantees, tho!

    YOU’VE BEEN TAGGED!!! Check my blog for details.

  22. It is such a beautiful pointsetta, I’d continue to enjoy it for awhile – and you’ve preserved it so well in the photo!

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