Poinsettias: Variations in a Theme

Check out this grower's favorite cultivars. Plus, care tips for this holiday favorite.

gby1713_1a_Kris-Krinkle_s4x3

Related To:

Along with sprigs of holly and mistletoe, the poinsettia has become a favorite colorful embellishment during the winter holidays. Grower Paul Ecke shows off his collection of poinsettias.

A sample of poinsettia cultivars

The colorful parts of the poinsettia are the top sets of leaves, known as the bracts or modified leaves. The flowers are the small, yellow, budlike centers called the cyathia. The various colors, shapes and forms of the bracts are what make each poinsettia cultivar unique. Here are just a few of Ecke's holiday favorites.

gby1713_1b_Mini-Star_s4x3

Mini Star

Mini Star

'Kris Krinkle' has brilliant red, ruffled bracts.

'Mini Star' is a miniature red cultivar that's quite popular in Europe but hasn't caught on in the U.S. "We haven't really been able to get Americans, who like big stuff, to fall in love with 'Mini Star'," says Ecke.

gby1713_1d_Winter-Rose_s4x3

Winter Rose

Winter Rose

'Jester' has bracts that grow upwards, instead of laying flat or drooping.

'Winter Rose' isn't your typical red poinsettia. Its red bracts are uniquely twisted in such a way that they resemble roses. Dark green foliage underneath the red bracts accents their unique shape.

gby1713_1f_Ice-Punch_s4x3

Ice Punch

Ice Punch

'Ice Punch' has a unique variegation on its bracts. A splash of white decorates the red bracts.

gby1713_1g_Visions-of-Gra_s4x3

Visions of Grandeur

Visions of Grandeur

'Visions of Grandeur' is a large cultivar with giant cream-colored bracts.

Poinsettia care

When transporting your poinsettia, protect it as best you can from cold temperatures by carrying it in a protective sleeve or a large bag that can be removed at home. Place it in a location with indirect sunlight and free from cold drafts or excessive heat. Ecke recommends putting your poinsettia in the same place where you would like to be: "If you're too cold, it's too cold."

Take care not to overwater, especially with plants in decorative foil sleeves. Instead, remove the poinsettia from its sleeve and allow the water to drain through before placing it back in the sleeve. Or, remove the plant from the sleeve and place it in a reservoir where you can see when the water passes through.

What do you do when the holidays are over and your poinsettia is finished with its colorful show? Ecke recommends throwing it out and buying a new one next year, instead of trying to get it to "rebloom." Poinsettias require much effort to get another flush of color.

Are poinsettias poisonous?

There's a misconception that poinsettias are highly poisonous. According to studies done by the Ohio State University in connection with the Society of American Florists, no toxicity was found when eaten in quantities higher than those likely to occur in the typical home environment. However, this doesn't mean you should go eat a poinsettia for dinner. There have been occasional cases when people have had mild allergic reactions to the sap, notably skin irritation or rashes.

Next Up

Poinsettia Care Through Winter (and Beyond)

This iconic holiday plant has tropical roots. Get tips on keeping your poinsettia looking its best all year.

How to Grow Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Easy-to-grow ponytail palm needs very little care. Use this leafy beauty, also called elephant foot plant, as a houseplant or in a sunny landscape.

Dracaena Plant Care

Dracaena houseplants are easy to care for with our experts' planting and growing tips.

Growing Asparagus Ferns

Grow airy, feathery asparagus ferns as houseplants or garden ornamentals. Indoors or out, asparagus fern care is easy.

Hostas: How to Plant, Grow and Care for Hostas

Learn why easy-growing hostas are one of the most popular perennials.

Growing Christmas Ferns

Staying green deep into winter's chill, these evergreen ferns bring color to your garden when every other living thing has turned brown.

Planting Coral Bells: How to Grow and Care for These Colorful Perennials

Heucheras, also known as coral bells or alum root, are herbaceous shade perennials native to America known primarily for their beautiful, robust foliage. They’re a great low-maintenance option for landscape beds and container gardens, available in a range of alluring colors.

Planting and Caring For Coleus

Bring summer color and texture to your garden with coleus plants’ dramatic leaves. Because flowers aren’t the only way to add zing.

How to Plant and Grow Chinese Evergreen

Caring for Chinese evergreens is easy, and these pretty houseplants brighten rooms with low light, or even no natural light, with their leaves of pink, green, creamy white and red.

How to Grow Alocasia

Commonly known as elephant's ear, this family of big-leafed tropical plants can be grown outdoors as a dramatic specimen plant or indoors as a houseplant.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

House Hunters

1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight
8pm | 7c
8:30pm | 7:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

House Hunters

11:31pm | 10:31c

House Hunters

2:31am | 1:31c
3am | 2c
3:30am | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30am | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30am | 4:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.