Christmas is over, and you’re now stumped about what to do with your beautiful poinsettia. Do you throw it away? Keep it? Can it last until next Christmas?

Here are a few tips on what you can do other than toss that beauty in the trash.

One option is to keep it and enjoy for another Christmas!

It is possible (but not guaranteed) to enjoy those poinsettia blooms for another Christmas! If you’ve been taking good care of your poinsettia, keeping it in a nice, warm, sunny window (free of drafts), you’re halfway there to over wintering this beauty! Be sure to give it at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight each day. For continual blooming of your poinsettia care following Christmas, the plant also needs day temps between 65- and 70-degrees F. and slightly cooler temperatures at night, though keep it above 60 F. to avoid leaf drop.

Water and Humidity

Make sure to water the poinsettia whenever the surface of the soil feels dry. Give the plant a good watering but be sure you don’t flood or soak it. These are tropical plants and do well with humidity, so if your home is dry during the winter months, a humidifier or plant mister will help your plant stay hydrated.

Continue your normal watering routine until spring (roughly around April)), then allow it to dry gradually. Slowly reduce watering leading up to spring. Around the middle of April or May, or if your plant becomes leggy, cut the stems back to about 4 inches above the soil and re-pot in a larger container with fresh, potting mix (soil less mix is good too).
Keep your plant trimmed and free of any dead leaves and stems.

Transplanting and Continued Care

Once nighttime temperatures remain above 50 F. you can move the plant outdoors (in its pot). Find a slightly shady location and let your plant adjust to being outdoors. Gradually move the poinsettia into more light over the span of a week or two, until finally giving it full sun. Continue watering and fertilizing the plant as usual.

In July, pinch back the stems. Pinch again in mid-August

Getting the plant to bloom following Christmas:

Once evening temps reach 55 degrees, your poinsettia will need to come back inside.
Poinsettias will need 10 weeks of 12 hours or less of sunlight each day to show color.
From October until Thanksgiving, begin keeping your poinsettia in complete darkness for about 12-14 hours a day (5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily). Simply stick it in a closet or cover it with a large box every evening and then return the plant to its sunny window during the remainder of the day.

By Thanksgiving, you can stop the dark period, placing the plant in a sunny area for at least six hours daily. Reduce water and fertilizer.

Now it’s time to cross your fingers and hope to get some color! It’s not guaranteed to happen, but if it does – give yourself a huge pat on the back for a job well done!

While rewarding, this is a bit of work. Perhaps you want to enjoy your poinsettia but not go through all the extra steps of darkness.

Another option is to follow the steps above after Christmas and spring. Once you get your plant acclimated to the full sun, you can plant it in your garden and enjoy it until fall and let the cold take it to its final resting place. Composting it at that time is an option if you compost, or you can toss it with your other annuals when you do your final yard cleanup.

There is no shame if you decide to say goodbye to your holiday beauty after Christmas. But that thrill of a challenge of keeping it year-round may be your thing!