After Christmas, the poinsettia can go the easy way – or the hard

Long-lived poinsettias can become space-hogging irritants if you like to declutter and organize after the holidays.
Long-lived poinsettias can become space-hogging irritants if you like to declutter and organize after the holidays. THE NEWS TRIBUNE

The fourth week of December is time to move your living Christmas tree outdoors. Potted evergreen trees sold as living indoor trees suffer from the high heat and low humidity inside homes.

Hellbebore gift plants can be placed outside immediately after the holidays as well.

Poinsettia plants will last for months indoors as colorful houseplants as long as you keep them from heat and drafts and do not let the soil become dry to the touch.

The new improved, easier-to-grow and long-lived poinsettias can become space-hogging irritants in some homes especially for people who like to declutter and organize after the holidays.

Even if you feel that you and your potted poinsettia are due for a breakup it can a guilt-ridden experience to toss a healthy living plant into the garbage no matter how much you want to get rid of all the holiday décor in January.

Here are suggestions for making the break easier with “Nifty Ways to Lose Your Love of a Poinsettia:”

▪  Cut off the blooms and use them in a centerpiece that celebrates the new year.

Tip: Ponsettias are from the euphorbia family and cut stems will ooze a milky white sap. Some people have an allergic reaction to euphorbia sap so avoid skin contact.

▪  Going out for New Year ’s Eve? Cut the blooms from your poinsettia, sear the cut end to close the opening and wear the fresh flowers as a corsage or in your hair.

▪  Call a nursing home and ask if you might bring your beautiful poinsettia to a resident who would like a surprise visitor.

▪  Treat you poinsettia like a giant houseplant and mix it in with a collection of other houseplants in a large basket as a display of living indoor plants.

It will look less like a Christmas plant with the foil wrapping and bow removed.

▪  Offer it up free on a social media or “offer up” site in your neighborhood.

▪  Then there is the ultimate solution to getting rid of any houseplant that has out grown its space or is no longer attractive.

Pretend you are bringing the plant outdoors to catch some winter sun. Now “forget” to bring it back inside.

On a cold night, a tender plant will have a quick and painless death and the wilted remains will be much easier to add to the compost pile or send out with the garbage without feeling guilty.