This Viral Hack Promises to Get the Most Out of Your Christmas Poinsettia

Try this simple trick to extend the life of your festive plant way beyond Christmas day

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The poinsettia is the plant of the season, bringing unparalleled festive joy to every space it graces. If you want to ensure its foliage flourishes way beyond Christmas day itself, there's a nifty hack that's gone viral that can help extend its life. 

A festive plant is a great way to decorate for Christmas and a poinsettia is the perfect place to start. It has the obvious holiday appeal with its bright red leaves and it's pretty easy to care for, too. If you have one, you'll understand why we want one in every room, and we've come across a new hack on the scene that allows you to do just that, all from just one plant.

Here, we asked some plant experts to provide their take on this poinsettia hack. To find out their tips on how to get the most out of your festive plant and if this hack is really worth the hype, keep reading.

What is the Poinsettia hack?

The poinsettia is one of the best Christmas flowers, and this hack makes it possible to take cuttings from your plant and turn them into individual bouquets to spread around your home, all whilst also promising to extend its lifespan.

All it involves is putting a flame to your poinsettia (yes, you heard that right). 'Burning the cut end of a poinsettia stem can help seal the sap and prevent the plant from wilting prematurely,' says Richa Kedia, plant expert at Simplify Plants. 'This technique is often used by florists to prolong the life of the cut flowers or branches.' 

How does it work?


(Image credit: Getty Images)

It might sound bizarre but there's some real science behind this technique. 'Burning the cut end of a poinsettia stem is a common technique used to prolong the plant's life when it's cut for a bouquet,' says Juan Palacio a florist at Bloomsy Box. 'This method is used to prevent the milky sap, which is released when the stem is cut, from seeping out. The sap can prevent water uptake, leading to premature wilting.'

This simple trick will help prolong your cut poinsettia's life well into January, especially when combined with general poinsettia care, too. 

Does it really work?

If you're doubtful we wouldn't blame you, but experts say this hack is more than an old wives tale. That said, they do warn you to proceed with caution. 'While burning the cut end is a popular practice, its effectiveness may vary,' warns professional gardener and plant expert Zahid Adnan from The Plant Bible. 

'Some gardeners swear by it, claiming that it helps seal the cut end and prevents the sap from leaking, thus extending the life of the poinsettia, however, scientific evidence supporting this method is limited,' Zahid adds. 'It's essential to approach this technique with caution, ensuring you take proper safety measures during the process.'

Although people report differing results, we think it's certainly worth a shot if it means you can create bundles of poinsettia joy around your whole home in time for Christmas. (We think a poinsettia posy makes the perfect floral centerpiece to your Christmas table decor.)

How to make the most out of your poinsettia 

The hack is incredibly easy according to expert florist Juan. 'After cutting the poinsettia stem at an angle, immediately hold the cut end of the stem over a flame such as a candle or lighter,' he says. 'Allow the flame to heat the cut end for about 5-10 seconds until the sap seals, and once cooled place the stem in a vase filled with fresh water.'

Of course, whenever there's an open flame in question, you should always proceed with the utmost caution, but if you want to spread some bright festive foliage around your whole home, why not give this trick a try? An indoor garden of bright red blooms gets a yes from us!

Where to buy a Poinsettia

Amy McArdle
News writer

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.