Holiday hacks: planting poinsettias and other repurposing ideas

Oh, how the holiday season comes and goes so quickly. To keep the sentiment of the season’s spirit, why not give your holiday plant a second life? Celebrate Christmas cheer throughout the year by planting poinsettias and repurposing them indoors and outdoors.

Give your poinsettia an encore

The cherished Christmas bloom, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), originates from the tropical climate of Mexico. As such, it thrives in well-lit, humid environments – making it suited to coastal South African households. If you live in drier, darker climates, never fear, there are ways to replicate the ideal growing conditions for poinsettias.

Just as you would take special care to prune your rose bush, your poinsettia also requires a certain amount of care and attention. Be sure to follow these steps to have your Christmas flowers looking as sprightly as ever.

Planting poinsettias outdoors

When it comes to planting poinsettias outside the home, you have one of two options. You can keep it in the pot for easy movement back indoors, or you can plant it into the ground. 

Removing your poinsettia from the pot

If you live in the correct climate (sunny, humid, protected from strong winds, with well-draining and slightly acidic soil), your poinsettia will thrive. In fact, it can grow up to 3m tall quite easily and can become leggy. Be sure to keep your poinsettia in shape by having a routine trim and pinching back the tips of new growth to give it the desired shape.

Unlike the northern chillier climates of the world, you can plant your poinsettia just after Christmas when the warm season is in full swing. While it needs regular watering, be sure to avoid waterlogging the soil.

Keeping your poinsettia in the pot

If you plan to keep your poinsettia indoors, there are two keywords to remember: warmth and light. The ideal indoor temperature is between 15 and 22 degrees celsius, away from any draughty places and in a sheltered spot, perhaps a sunny corner or near a window.

To water your poinsettia, use a shot glass of water if it is on the smaller range, whereas standard-sized pots (13cm in diameter) prefer about 200 millilitres. After each watering, check for excess water and drain the planter pot if it is still saturated.

Keep your indoor poinsettia well-trimmed, to a tidy 10cm and monitor leaves for dryness and drooping. If you’re unsure of your watering schedule, you can keep your poinsettia drier and then use a minimal-but-often approach. Remember to use room-temperature water.

Planting poinsettias indoors

You can display and showcase your poinsettia in different presentations. They perform well as cut flowers – showing off with both their colour and long life. 

If you decide to give your poinsettia one last encore performance as a cut flower, follow these steps for star treatment. 

  • Cut stems just below the colourful leaves (otherwise known as ‘bracts’). 
  • Then dip the cut ends into hot water to remove the white sap. 
  • Immediately place the ends in cold water. 

This quick trick, paired with enough water, will give your poinsettia a fresh appearance for up to two weeks. 

You can reimagine your poinsettia by placing it in a vase, arranging in a wreath, suspending it in a hanging basket, or positioning it as a tasteful accent around the home. Display it on the mantle, a bedroom dresser or even as a welcoming place setting for guests popping in during the holiday season. 

Celebrate your blooms year-round

We hope that you enjoyed this guide to planting poinsettias and experience many delightful returns. If you require more assistance to care for your poinsettia or other garden projects, contact us for more information.