University of Illinois Extension

Keeping Your Poinsettia Alive

Poinsettias are a major part of holiday decorating in many of our homes, said Ron Wolford, U of I Extension educator.

“Poinsettias represent 80% of all potted plant sales in the United States during the holiday season,” said Wolford. “There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today. Poinsettias come in a myriad of colors like red, white, pink and burgundy.”

Keeping your poinsettias healthy during the holiday season can be a challenge considering the dry indoor environments in many homes.

“Here are a few tips to help you keep your poinsettia healthy,” he said.

“Research at the Ohio State University has shown that poinsettias are not poisonous,” Wolford noted. “Some people are sensitive to the plant’s sap, causing skin irritation.

“For pets, the poinsettia sap may cause mild irritation or nausea. Probably best to keep pets away from the plant, especially puppies and kittens.”

For more information, please visit the U of I Extension website The Poinsettia Pages at poinsettia/