Poinsettias as Cut Flowers
Can I use poinsettias as cut Flowers?
Poinsettias, with all their new colors and shapes can make a beautiful cut flower arrangement, but you need to follow these simple guidelines.
1. Cut off some poinsettia stems with their colorful bracts and leaves. The bracts are what most people think of as the flowers of the plant. The real flowers are the tiny yellow petals you see in the center of the bracts. Examine the stems carefully before cutting them off so you won’t have to cut these stems a second time; you’ll see why in a second.
2. As soon as you remove the stems from the plant, singe the cut ends with a candle or long match to stop the sap from dripping out. Poinsettia stems and leaves excrete a milky sap when cut or damaged in any way. If you don’t stop the sap from dripping, the poinsettia cutting quickly droops and fades. Be sure to wear gloves. The sap isn’t poisonous, but is very irritating if it gets on your skin. If you have to re-cut the stems at a later time because they’re too tall for your arrangement or vase, you must re-singe the cut ends again.
3. The poinsettia flowers are now ready to be placed in a vase of water. Be creative: add some ivy, evergreen branches, holly sprigs, red berries, or anything else you like.
4. Don’t use just red or white poinsettias; try some of the new natural colors like marble, jingle bells, salmon, and pink, or the purple and blue dyed varieties. The Winter Rose poinsettia has a flower that resembles a large, open rose.
5. If you singe the ends properly, cut poinsettias can often last up to two weeks.