5 expert tips to help your poinsettias last through Christmas

Want your festive plants to keep going into the New Year?

Festive poinsettias can look spectacular at Christmas, but all too often they end up being put in the wrong place – and start wilting before the celebrations have even really started.

Kenneth Freeman, an expert on interior plant welfare and technical director at interior plants specialist Ambius (, offers the following tips to help keep your poinsettia perky through the festive season and beyond…

1. Unwrap them immediately

Generic photo of woman buying floral compositions at Christmas market (Thinkstock/PA)

Take off packaging as soon as you’re home

Poinsettias must be unwrapped from their sleeves as soon as you get them indoors.

2. Keep them warm

Poinsettias (Hannah Stephenson/PA)

Keep them away from draughts

Poinsettias are indigenous to the warm climate of Mexico and don’t do well sitting in cold vehicles or buildings, or being watered with cold water. In fact, this can substantially reduce their lifespan. When positioning your poinsettia, don’t place them near cold draughts or near to outside doorways – they prefer warm and light conditions.

3. Don’t over-water

Watering poinsettias (Hannah Stephenson/PA)

Don’t over-water poinsettias

While they can consume a lot of water, poinsettias should never be allowed to stand in water. They only require a small amount once every few days.

 4. Give them a pick-me-up

Poinsettia pot being dunked in water (Hannah Stephenson/PA)

If it has dried out and wilted, dunk it in water

While wilted poinsettias may have their lifespan reduced, soaking the rootball with warm water will often cause severely wilted poinsettias to revive. Revival should occur within one hour, so don’t chuck out your plants until you have tried this.

5. Choose your poinsettias wisely

White poinsettias (Ambius/PA)

White poinsettias are a good choice

White or pink poinsettias will look better for longer display periods (over three weeks). Red ones tend to fade in colour if in low light, and after more than three weeks.

The poinsettia can provide a modest alternative to the Christmas tree, but if this doesn’t take your fancy either, then there are other alternatives to choose from.

Christmas cactus (Hannah Stephenson/PA)

Christmas cactus is a good alternative

Both the Christmas cactus and hippeastrum, often erroneously called Amaryllis (a bulbous plant), can be found in most supermarkets and garden centres.

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