Put julep cups, goblets, small trophies, and any other
silver containers you may have around the house to
good use by tucking a cut poinsettia or two into each
They're especially pretty as a collection along
a mantel (as long as it's not above a real fireplace that
produces leaf-destroying heat). Don't have any heirloom
silver around? Take a can of chrome spray paint and turn
inexpensive containers into look-alikes.
Nature’s Own Ornament
Poinsettias are a naturally showy way to enliven a
Christmas tree. Insert them into small floral vials filled
with water. (You may want to enlarge the vial opening
with a pencil first so no delicate stems snap.)
Here, they've been tucked into a 3-foot Canadian
With trees that have dense, tight foliage,
such as spruce and balsam, you can get away with
simply tucking the vials into the foliage. For trees with
looser foliage, such as pine, wire the vials to branches
with florist's wire. Check water levels daily.
A poinsettia is a poinsettia is a poinsettia. Whether you buy it at a discount
supermarket or an upscale florist’s shop, if it looks healthy and happy, it is. If
it’s at all droopy, don’t buy it. Once a poinsettia wilts, it doesn’t revive.
Choose plants that have leaves all the way to the soil line. If the plant is a
little bare on the bottom, it’s likely stressed and has been dropping leaves.
Check the true flowers, which are tiny and budlike and are located at the
bases of the big, colorful modified leaves (called bracts) that most people think
are the flowers. Ideally, the true flowers should be green- or red-tipped, which
means the plant is less developed. If the flowers have yellow pollen on them,
the plant won’t last as long.
Look for variations. Poinsettias come in all sorts of wonderful colors,
including cream, mottled or marbled pinks and peaches, peppermint-like
swirls, plum colors, and greenish-whites. Miniature poinsettias, just inches
high, also are fun.
Poinsettias are extremely temperature sensitive. If it’s less than 50 degrees
outside, wrap the entire plant in plastic or paper to protect it while you bring
it home. Once you’re home, keep it away from icy drafts as well as heat vents
Poinsettias in pots need to be kept lightly but evenly watered. Keep them
too soggy and they’ll drop leaves. If they’re too dry, they’ll wilt and won’t recover.
Best of Christmas Ideas