How to Use Poinsettias as Cut Flowers

Poinsettias, with all their new colors and shapes make wonderful cut flowers if you just follow a few simple rules. 1. Cut some poinsettia stems with colorful bracts. The bracts are what most people refer to as the flowers of the plant. Think before you cut, so you won’t have to cut the stems a second time, you’ll see why in a second. 2. As soon as you cut the stems, singe the cut ends with a candle or long match to stop the sap from dripping out.  Poinsettia stems and leaves excrete this milky sap when cut or damaged in any way. If you don’t stop the sap from dripping out, the poinsettia cutting quickly droops and fades. The sap isn’t poisonous, but is very irritating if it gets on your skin, so be sure to wear gloves. If you have to re-cut the stems at a later time because they’re too tall for the arrangement, you’ll have to singe the cut ends again. 3. The poinsettia flowers are now ready to be placed in a vase of water. Be creative, add some evergreen branches and some berries. Don’t just stick with red or white flowers, try some of the new colors like marble, jingle bells, salmon, and pink. The new Winter Rose poinsettia has  a very different flower that resembles a large, open rose. 4. Cut poinsettias that have had their cut ends singed properly can often last up to two weeks in a cut flower arrangement.