Plant care

How to Take Care Of A Poinsettia After Christmas

Alice T Breeze
By Alice T Breeze. Updated: January 26, 2017
How to Take Care Of A Poinsettia After Christmas

Poinsettia, known as the Christmas flower, is a great Christmas decoration for your house that you can keep even after the holiday fun is over. In this article we'll tell you how to look after, water and prune a Poinsettia or Christmas flower, but let's start with a little bit of its history. Euphorbia pulcherrima is a Poinsettia or Christmas plant sometimes known as Christmas star, lobster plant, Mexican flame leaf, painted leaf and is native to Mesoamerica. The poinsettia is a null and void shrub, which can grow up to three meters in its natural state. It has whole leaves, a couple of lateral teeth and an apical one. Keep reading oneHOWTO if you want to know how to take care of a poinsettia after Christmas.

You may also be interested in: How to Make Cuttings From a Poinsettia Plant

Steps to follow:


To take care of a Poinsettia after Christmas properly you should avoid air-streams and leaving it close to radiators or heaters. It is important to get information first on how to grow healthy plants indoors and outdoors.


To make sure your Poinsettia or Christmas plant, is healthy until spring, you can prune it to a height of 20 cm (8" approx.) and care for it as if it was a green plant. You can even leave it outdoors when temperatures are mild. Avoid temperatures under 12 degrees Celsius (53 degrees Fahrenheit).

How to Take Care Of A Poinsettia After Christmas - Step 2

Place the plant in a room with plenty of natural light. The Poinsettia or lobster plant, needs high levels of light to stay healthy and provide a good, bright colour so that its flowers and leaves stay in contrast. Leaving it in a dark place for la long time may cause yellowness and leaves falling off.

How to Take Care Of A Poinsettia After Christmas - Step 3

When and how to water Christmas Plants? You must water the plant carefully. It's not ideal to get the Poinsettia's leaves wet. You must avoid the soil getting dry, but be careful not to water the plant too much: the soil must be humid without creating puddles of water. Excess water in soil can lead to its roots rotting. A good idea is to leave the pot on a plate with water, but with stones in the bottom so that the roots are not in direct contact with the water, as they would rot.


If the leaves are turning black, your Christmas star is rotting due to bad watering. To save it, stop watering, prune it well and leave it in a shady place waiting for it to blossom again next season.


Regarding the soil, the Poinsettia shouldn't be in a puddle. The most effective way to look after it is to water frequently but with not much quantity whilst the plant is in vegetative growth. It's OK to let the soil dry between watering.

If the plant is in a pot, we should avoid the water getting to the pot. A good solution is to put a bed of stones or pebbles and place the pot on it. This way the water will trickle through the stones and get rid of the excess.

How to Take Care Of A Poinsettia After Christmas - Step 6

Besides being a beautiful plant, the Poinsettia is a perfect sustainable decoration. Instead of buying plastic Christmas decorations, you can include some plants in your house. If you would like to have more ideas on sustainability for the winter holidays, check our article how to have a sustainable Christmas.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Take Care Of A Poinsettia After Christmas, we recommend you visit our Gardening & plants category.


  • If you don't want the plant to suffer any harm, leave it in a place where not many people walk by, as it can break easily or they can make leaves fall.
  • When you buy a Christmas Star you need to check there aren't many mature flowers in the center of the bracts, as the more it has, the less it will last. It's also convenient to check it hasn't got rotten or broken stems or spots on its leaves, etc. Read more on Suite 101: How to choose and look after your Poinsettia.
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Marlene Carlson
It is March 17th. Today I am going to prune the poinsettia plant, although it is still sending out new shoots and looking very healthy. As you suggested to prune and then place it in a dark place, I do have two questions...during this time, do I water the plant? Also, what month do I bring it back into the light to start growing for Christmas?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Marlene,

You should water it when it needs, so check the substrate every couple of days. If the air is humid, it will need less water, but the soil can dry in arid areas. Return it to ordinary light when the bracts start to show color.
A ponsettia is very hard to care for.....I have problem with a gift I have no place to put it in good light in my home.... this is why I never buy them....not enough light.....I will try to care again for it and trim it, mine is not 8 inch high so I can only trim a couple..... I keep it in the dark till spring for warm weather? living in the south , to much sun can burn it...=hard to keep. It is beautiful when it is in full bloom.. stores are very lighted when you buy them.
judy munday
i have my poinsettia plant on my kitchen table and the leaves are falling off. I water once a week. its facing n/e window. I was wondering if I should cut it down now for next year. someone told me to cut it down and put it in the closet until next oct. and bring out and water and feed it. I've never had any luck with this plant after Christmas. ty gbu
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Judy,

The true bloom of a poinsettia will only last about 4 to 6 weeks, regardless of how well you care for it. Bracts (which are actually leaves) will last longer. Our tips to help care for it are there to help the plant last as long as possible so it can bloom again. Hope this helps!
Lorraine Kekessi
Great information, I think my live plant will do better this year.
OneHowTo Editor
We hope so!!!
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How to Take Care Of A Poinsettia After Christmas