Poinsettia are synonymous with Christmas. Its bright bold red foliage is a popular decorative addition to many homes and seasonal setups. It instantly amplifies all the other decor as well, pairing beautifully with the greenery of the tree, and golden accents. But once the festive season is over what happens to your festive plant?
Houseplants are an integral part of most modern homes; however, the poinsettia feels out of place once Christmas is behind us. There aren't many plants this closely associated with a holiday that the sight of them feels wrong at any other time of year, but the poinsettia is surely one of them. But that doesn't mean we should discard them completely, surely?
There are many alternative ways of decorating with plants long after the Christmas period. Given the right care, a poinsettia can also last for years. Here we spoke to some plant experts who gave four alternatives used for your poinsettia that ensure it's the Christmas gift that keeps on giving.
1. Turn it into Potpourri
If you are looking to completely transform your poinsettia after Christmas professional gardener and plant expert Tony O'Neill from Simplify Gardening has a suggestion for you. 'For those seeking a more creative twist, transforming poinsettias into potpourri is a unique approach,' Tony says. It is also a lot easier than you might think!
Potpourri is a great way to make your home smell good naturally. 'After the bracts (the colored parts often mistaken for flower petals) lose their luster, they can be dried and mixed with other botanical elements like pine cones, cinnamon sticks, and essential oils to create a fragrant, to create homemade potpourri,' Tony explains. This not only recycles the plant but also extends its utility and enjoyment, in a non-festive way.
2. Turn it into a landscape plant
'By repurposing poinsettias, we can extend their beauty and utility well beyond the Christmas season, embodying sustainable and thoughtful living,' says
Alexander Testel, sustainable gardener at the Frugal Frontier. A poinsettia should not just be for Christmas, and it pains us to think of these beautiful plants being chucked out on the streets come January. This is why we want to encourage you to give your plant a new lease of life.
One way this can be done is by turning your festive plant into a landscape plant. 'Transplant poinsettias into your garden or outdoor containers and they can thrive outdoors, adding a splash of color to your garden beds,' says Alexander.
Out of the homely festive environment, the poinsettia can be a great modern garden idea. 'Poinsettias, beyond their festive charm, offers numerous possibilities after the holiday season,' says Tony. And given the right care they can bloom again year after year. 'Around spring, when they outgrow their holiday pots, transferring them to a larger pot with fresh soil can rejuvenate the plant and encourage new growth,' says Tony. 'This is also the perfect time to start fertilizing them regularly.'
3. Natural Dye
If you are an avid DIYer this next idea is for you. 'Poinsettia leaves can be used as a natural dye,' says Tony. Utilizing plants for natural dye is a great way to embrace sustainable living and save money at the same time. 'The bright red bracts create a beautiful color when boiled and can be used to dye fabrics or paper,' says Tony, 'offering a sustainable way to explore crafts and DIY projects.'
4. Table Centerpiece
Lastly, don't feel like you have to banish the poinsettia from your house. If you like the plant beyond Christmas, keep it around to add color to your home or as a table centerpiece.
'Poinsettias are known for their vibrant red and green foliage, making them perfect for festive centerpieces during the holidays,' says Lindsey Hyland, founder of the Urban Organic Yield. 'But don't toss them out after Christmas!'
A poinsettia can easily be repurposed as a flower arrangement for other occasions, or no occasions. Their beauty transcends the holidays, making them a great houseplant. 'You can easily repurpose them as a centerpiece for other occasions such as birthday parties, Valentine's Day, or even just a simple dinner with friends,' she says. 'This will not only save you money on buying new decorations but also add a touch of holiday spirit to any gathering.'
Try one of these 4 alternative uses for your poinsettia before you consider throwing it away. It will certainly brighten your life and counteract the January blues.
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Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.
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