What is This Plant & Best Care for this Plant Round the Year

I have this plant, what is the name of it and what is the best way to take care of it all year in a tropical environment. Are these plants poisonous?

Hi Naveed,

Red and White poinsettia

Your plant is a type of poinsettia. Poinsettias are the most popular indoor flowering plant sold in the U.S. even though it is only available six weeks of the year. The colorful parts of the poinsettia plant are really modified leaves called bracts. The tiny yellow flowers are at the center of the red bracts. There are just a couple of main things to remember in caring for a poinsettia plant. Do not water until the soil is dry and the leaves droop slightly, then set the plant in a deep saucer of water for 10 minutes. Do not get water on the leaves; it leaves ugly spots. Keep the plant away from cold drafts and heaters.

You can read all of my care tips for a poinsettia in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.


This plant will gradually lose all of its leaves in late winter or early spring. You should then cut the bare stems back to a few inches above the soil line and place the plant in a warm bright spot. The green leaves will grow back and you’ll have a green plant. Around late November of next year some of the new leaves will start turning red if, and only if, you have been putting the plant in 12 hours of complete darkness starting in mid October. In all honesty, most people throw their poinsettias out once they start to lose their leaves. I think its fun to try to grow the plant year round and attempt to get the red leaves again.

Poinsettias are not poisonous plants, although the latex in the plant may irritate your skin. If you want to know more about plants that are poisonous check out my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat; A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants .