8 Ideas For Decorating With Poinsettias This Holiday Season

When you’re decorating with poinsettias, consider experimenting with different varieties and fun holiday ideas.

Poinsettia centerpiece
(Image credit: alicjane / Getty Images)

Decorating with poinsettias for the holidays is a classic choice. It can be as simple as adding a few potted plants around the fireplace or to the dining room table. But you can also get more creative when decorating with poinsettias. There are countless options when using this traditional holiday plant.

Pretty Poinsettia Décor Ideas

Native to Mexico, the poinsettia became a popular holiday decoration thanks to its festive green leaves and red bracts. In the wild, they grow into tall shrubs, but in containers they remain small and perfect for decorating. If you love this classic seasonal plant but aren't sure what to do with poinsettias this year, get inspired by these creative and unique ideas.

1. Make a Mixed Container

Poinsettias are traditionally used solo, but why not mix it up? It's common to make mixed planters for outdoors, but you can also do it with indoor seasonal decorations.

For example, arrange a large container with a red poinsettia in the middle, surrounded by white alyssum and striped spider plants that hang over the edges. Use what's available at the time of year to come up with some creative mixes.

2. Use Unique Varieties

As with many popular houseplants, breeders have come up with a wide range of poinsettia varieties. Seek these out to find the perfect shade of red or to mix up holiday décor with new colors and patterns:

  • Burgundy is a cool twist on the classic red poinsettia.
  • Christmas Season has bright pink bracts edged and veined in green.
  • Sonora White Glitter is a unique red variety speckled with off-white dots.
  • Ice Crystal has reddish bracts with off-white centers that look almost faded in color.
  • Mars White is a great choice for creamy, off-white bracts.
  • Peppermint Twist has light pink-to-white bracts speckled with darker pink and a rippled texture.

3. Try a Poinsettia Tree

In the wild, poinsettias grow as large shrubs. In the landscape, they can be trimmed and trained to grow like a small tree with one primary stem. It's a unique twist on the classic holiday poinsettia plant.

4. Go Glittery!

You might see these glittery poinsettias in the store, but it can also be a DIY project. You can find floral and glitter spray paints at craft stores. They are designed to be used on plants. Spray only the bracts, or add different sparkly colors to the bracts and the leaves.

5. Paint Your Poinsettias

If you see poinsettias in truly unusual colors like bright blue, they are artificially colored. Make your own masterpiece with floral spray paints. You can use them on any poinsettia, but white varieties will take the color best.

6. Make a Big Impact with Mini Poinsettias

Mini poinsettias are standard poinsettias that have been grown in small containers to restrict their growth. These little plants make striking decorations. Use them to decorate Santa's village, to ring the Christmas tree, or to add another level to a holiday table centerpiece.

7. Snag a Snow White Variety

A pure white variety of poinsettia is an elusive goal of many breeders. The whitest white may not yet be available, but you can find creamy white and green-white poinsettias, which look lovely set against red and green decorations. They also make a nice addition to gold and white décor or a white-only holiday theme.

8. Add a Pop of Red to Your Porch

If you live in a warmer climate, you can use poinsettias to decorate the front porch. Line your porch steps with bright red poinsettia pots to add a festive holiday touch. Or, choose two large planters to create mixed containers that frame the front door.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Decorate with Poinsettias Outside?

Poinsettias are native to the warm climate of Mexico. You can use them as outdoor decorations, but only in the right temperatures. Poinsettias will sustain damage in temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius).

How Long Will a Poinsettia Typically Last Indoors?

With typical care, a poinsettia should thrive in your home for two to three months. If you are a skilled houseplant caregiver, you can attempt to keep it for next year. Just know that it's unlikely to be as showy as it was when you brought it home from the store after being cultivated in ideal conditions.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.