What to do with a poinsettia after the holidays – 3 expert ideas

Save your poinsettia from being discarded after the holidays with these pro ideas

White poinsettia close-up
(Image credit: Getty Images/Juan Jose Alvarado Mendieta)

Poinsettias or Euphorbia pulcherrima, are potted plants that are synonymous with the holiday season as popular decorative additions to many households. They have large, often red, but sometimes pink or white leaves, that surround small yellow flowers and provide a bright, festive touch to your home.

Unfortunately, once the holidays are over, many people discard or neglect their poinsettia plants. However, this does not have to be the way, as there are several things you can do with your poinsettias long after the Christmas season is over - and poinsettia plants can last year on year if cared for correctly.

Poinsettia blooming at Christmas

(Image credit: Getty Images/Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo)

What to do with a poinsettia after the holidays

After the holiday season, instead of discarding them, there are several ways to care for and repurpose these beautiful plants. Here are three things you can do with your poinsettias after the holidays. 

1. Turn it into container or landscape plant


(Image credit: Alamy)

After the winter period, Poinsettias can be transplanted outdoors once the frost has thawed. ‘Select a partially shaded area with well-draining soil,’ says James Faust, poinsettia expert and associate professor of floriculture physiology at Clemson University. ‘Gradually acclimatise the plant to outdoor conditions to prevent shock.’

Outdoor poinsettias can grow significantly and will need consistent care, including regular watering and fertilization. We like these round outdoor planters from Wayfair, which have the look and feel of concrete without the weight that goes with it. They are easy to move and are fully weather resistant. 

James Faust
James Faust

James Faust specializes in Floriculture Physiology at Clemson University. He has a focus on greenhouse production of ornamental flowering crops, both potted and cut flowers. 

2. Use trimmings for potpourri or floral arrangements

Pink poinsettia in silver metallic pot

(Image credit: Getty Images/Oksana Schmidt)

If you are finding it difficult to keep your poinsettia alive, Ash Read, houseplant expert, suggests you turn this festive plant into cut flowers and potpourri. Firstly trim off the flowers to just below the bracts (the colorful leaves). 

The next step is to dip the trimmed ends in boiling water for up to 30 seconds, this is to remove the sap from the branch. Because poinsettias are of the Euphorbia family, searing the stem ends in boiling water works better than burning them. Finally place in cold water to seal off the cut ends. 

There are a number of other ingredients you can add to your potpourri if you are interested in making your own. 

Ash Read
Ash Read

Ash Read is the founder of Indoor Plants. He had a career in professional gardening before turning to writing. Indoor Plants aims to make gardening accessible and enjoyable for all. 

3. Get crafty with your cut flowers

Pink and white variegated poinsettia plant

(Image credit: Future)

According to Vladan Nikolic, a houseplant expert and founder of Mr Houseplant, another great way to repurpose poinsettias is to incorporate these vibrant flowers in crafting activities such as resin art. 

Resin art allows you to use fresh flowers and leaves for decorative projects like making coasters and even tree decorations for the next festive period. 

Start by removing the leaves and flower heads from the stem and gently rolling over them with a rolling pin or alternatively leaving them on the inside pages of a book to flatten out, then simply take your resin casts, such as these from Amazon, add the parts of the plant you wish to use and seal, following the product instructions. 

Vladan Nikolic
Vladan Nikolic

Vladan Nikolic is a houseplant expert with over 10 years of experience. He is the founder of the houseplant care blog Mr. Houseplant and is a social media influencer for houseplants with over 500,000 followers. 


Why are the leaves of my poinsettia falling off?

The main reason why poinsettias will drop their leaves is if they are exposed to unexpected changes in temperature or if the plant is dehydrated. If you are keeping your poinsettia indoors, place it in a temperature controlled room and water regularly to prevent the leaves from dropping. 

There are plenty of reasons why you should care for their poinsettia plants after the holiday season. You can even prepare your poinsettia for next year by pruning and storing in the dark to promote new budding. Consider keeping your poinsettia plants around to enjoy their benefits long after the holidays have ended. 

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.