This casual trio of 'Lemon Drop' poinsettias in glass bottles looks right at home by a kitchen windowsill.
These tall glass vases are great for displaying the sturdy flowers and stems of 'Winter Rose Red' poinsettias. Clear opaque and red glass ornaments repeat the colors of the vases and flowers.
The true flowers are the yellow buds in the very center of the colorful bracts.
We loved all five of the poinsettias we tested for the story, and each performed well. There are many, many more excellent selections available. We liked the Winter Rose poinsettias best, because they are great as cut flowers. The long, thick stems with sturdy blossoms hold up beautifully when cut and seared, lasting 7 to 10 days. 'Strawberries & Cream' and 'Lemon Drop' fare equally well (7 to 10 days). 'Freedom Pink' lasts awhile if you cut and sear the stems again a few days after making the arrangement (5 to 7 days).
When talking about poinsettias, the term "flower" is used loosely. The colorful blossoms are actually not true blooms but colorful leaves called bracts. (The real flowers are the small, yellow buds in the center of the bracts.) Choose plants whose true buds are tightly clustered and just beginning to open. Look for plants with firm bracts and foliage that isn't wilted or broken. If you cannot bear the thought of cutting your poinsettia for arrangements, keep it in the pot. Care is simple. There is no need to fertilize; it's already in full bloom. They originated in Mexico and are grown in greenhouses, so they like warmth. Ideally, temperatures should stay around 65 to 70 degrees. Poinsettias prefer bright, indirect light. Don't place them near cold drafts or heating vents. After buying your plant, get it into the car quickly to limit exposure to the cold.
Water when the top portion of the soil feels dry. If your plant is wrapped in decorative foil or plastic, remove it, and then water. Let any excess moisture drain, because poinsettias should never be left in standing water.