Light: Poinsettia plants need very bright, indirect, or filtered natural light. If you place your poinsettia close to a window, be sure that none of the foliage touches the glass as the cold may damage them.

Water: Always allow the top 25% of the soil to dry out before watering to prevent root rot. Overwatering causes the green leaves to fall off, leaving bare stems topped by a few colorful bracts. Severe underwatering will cause the plant to droop, resulting in both green and colored bracts dropping off. 

Environment: Poinsettias require a consistent temperature range between 65 and 70F degrees during the day and around 60F degrees at night. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold damage the leaves and may cause them to drop. Keep them away from drafts, fireplaces, heaters, and other drafty or heat-causing locations. Take care to wrap a poinsettia well when transporting outdoors in the winter, and limit their exposure outdoors in winter.

Toxicity: Reported to be toxic to cats and dogs.

Of Note:

  • Fertilize a poinsettia plant monthly in the spring and summer after the plant has finished blooming. Many people choose to toss their plant after the colorful blooms die off, but you can keep them for their foliage year-round.
  • Use a quick-draining, acidic potting soil with a container that has a drainage hole to avoid root rot. 
  • The milky sap can be irritating if it comes in contact with your skin. Wash with soap and water well.