Simple Ways To Incorporate Gorgeous Poinsettias Into Your Holiday Decor

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are known as the unofficial Christmas flower, which is a bit funny, considering they're actually not flowers at all but simply colorful leaves. These stunning plants are often a part of holiday designs for several reasons. For starters, the red and green color combination makes them perfect to use in traditional Christmas color schemes. Additionally, poinsettia plants bloom in late fall or early winter, which is of course just in time for Christmas. It's even said in a story from Mexico that a little girl left weeds as an offering at a nativity, and they transformed into beautiful poinsettias. 

So there are some good reasons to use this leafy plant come Christmas time, but the traditional potted plants leave you a bit limited on design options. That's why it's helpful to think outside the box and use your poinsettias in unique ways. To help you do this, we've included 18 ideas on how to decorate for the holidays with poinsettias below. Keep in mind that some of these hacks will require cutting the leaves from their roots, which can decrease their lifespan. If the design idea doesn't include a hydroponic system, which allows the plants to stay alive in water alone for about two weeks, feel free to use realistic-looking faux poinsettias. If you do this, you'll be able to use the same foliage for years to come. 

1. Create a sparse but modern arrangement

Just a few cut poinsettias and some spruce sprigs can be used to create a minimalist, understated, and elegant arrangement. For taller vases, try to keep the stems on the longer side, and if using a shorter vessel, make sure the poinsettia doesn't become too top-heavy. Ensure the water is changed and topped off regularly to extend the longevity of the leaves.

2. Give your banister a festive flair

Stairway banisters are a great area to add some festive décor. In addition to the usual faux pine branches, try tucking some fresh or artificial poinsettias into the sprigs, along with baubles, ribbons, and twinkle lights. The flowers look a touch oversized which adds some colorful drama to the banister. 

3. Add a shabby chic touch

Nothing says cozy Christmas like a bit of burlap. Instead of displaying the same gold foil-wrapped pot that came with your store-bought poinsettia, wrap a bit of burlap fabric over the container. Let the fringe hang loose, or secure it over the pot's perimeter with some hot glue for a cleaner look. Be sure to tie it all off with a festive bow or ribbon. 

4. Place poinsettias alongside Christmas baubles in a basket

Holiday dinner centerpieces don't have to be complicated. Just take a few ornaments, wicker balls, pine cones, and poinsettia leaves and place them in a basket, bowl, or other shallow dish. Artfully arrange the other objects, and lay the poinsettia out flat so you can fully appreciate the wide leaves and colors of this plant. 

5. Tuck them into the branches of the tree

If you've ever wondered how to take your Christmas tree up to the next level of luxury, the answer is using oversized, non-bauble elements, and poinsettia leaves fit the bill perfectly. Obviously, use faux poinsettias if you want them to be on display all season long. Be sure to find some with long stems, like the set of six Wistart Christmas Artificial Poinsettia Flowers from Amazon, so they can be tucked into the tree branches without falling out.

6. Accentuate the present pile

When carefully set at the base of the Christmas tree, poinsettias look as pretty as a wrapped present. To make them stand out even more, consider wrapping their pots in some fabric and ribbons or even using your favorite holiday wrapping paper so they match your present pileup. Just ensure that you use a non-draining pot for the display so water doesn't leak through the fabric or paper and onto the tree skirt. Or, you can simply use faux plants so you don't have to worry about creating a mess. 

7. Arrange them around the fireplace

Placing poinsettias next to the fireplace will add a pop of bright, red color to your display. Further, if you keep the plants inside the gold foil they come in at the store, the light from the fireplace will reflect off the material and cause your space to shine. You could place the plants on either side of your fireplace, only on one side, or up above on your mantel. 

8. Display poinsettias in floating planters

If you have ever used planters on your balcony, you might be familiar with hanging planter baskets, but these can also be used indoors to display lovely potted poinsettias. Many hang over the top of the rail, which is fine if you're hanging the plant from a flat banister. However, at an incline, these hanging baskets from Plant Traps called RailScapes will work best, because they fit between the rods rather than on top. This will prevent the planters from slipping downward.

9. Think pink

Red and green are swell, but they might not fit with your Barbiecore home aesthetic. However, that doesn't mean poinsettias are a no-go, as you can find these plants in lots of colors, including pink. Pink varieties of poinsettias include Pink Champagne, Freedom Peppermint, and J'Adore Soft Pink. If you want to add a bit of cool green to go with these warm colors, try using dried eucalyptus or some vibrant moss. 

10. Make pint-sized arrangements with mason jars

Mason jars are one of our favorite items to use for flower displays, and when you fill them with battery-operated twinkle lights, they look stunning with the deep crimson shades of the poinsettia. You could also paint the jars gold or silver, if desired; just use a glass and metal-adhering spray paint on your jars and lid rings. If you use twinkle lights, opt for faux poinsettias. If not, you can either repot the plants in their soil or cut off a few leaves and keep them in water.

11. Go minimalist with white poinsettias

Yes, even those who prefer a truly white Christmas can enjoy poinsettias in their home. Look for white varieties such as Brilliant White or Alaska if you like to keep things both neutral and natural, or you can look around for some faux poinsettia leaves. We like the ones seen in this photo with the gold fringe detail and shimmering center clusters. Display white poinsettias in a milk-painted or metallic vase. 

12. Combine with candles

Because candles are a key element of most Christmas displays, try creating a candlelit arrangement that contains poinsettias. Create the base out of pine branches, place candles in the center, and adorn the piece with baubles, pinecones, and poinsettias. For safety reasons, you may want to use fake candles or place your real candles inside glass hurricane holders when lit. 

13. Repurpose a decorative pot or urn

Do you have an antique decorative pot sitting around, or perhaps a large, deep tin that's typically used to hold your sewing supplies? Consider repurposing it as a poinsettia planter. Even if the pot isn't designed to hold plants, you can put the poinsettias in their original containers and have them spilling out of the top in a lush display. This is great for any eclectic collectors and lovers of unexpected holiday décor pieces. 

14. Use poinsettias with every color of the rainbow

Your display doesn't have to only be limited to one color or type of poinsettia. In fact, one of the best ways to showcase their beauty is to display a collection in several vibrant colors and patterns. Artfully arrange them along a banister with some floral wire, repot several plants into one larger pot, or create stunning cut flower arrangements with them. The more variety in hues, patterns, and textures, the better. 

15. Create a nature-inspired, wicker centerpiece

If you like poinsettias but want to add a natural, tan element, try placing them along the edges of a wicker basket. If you choose one with a handle, you could also place the red leaves along it as well. This would look great on the coffee table or as a dinner centerpiece. We also like adding other earthy elements like pinecones that create more dimension. For this arrangement, faux plants would work best. 

16. Stuff the stems into stockings

Stockings can be used as a lovely Christmas display with the help of some poinsettias. Fill the base with some regular rolled-up socks or scrap fabric so the woven container looks full and to give the poinsettias some stability. Wedge the stems in and let them sprout over the top of the stockings. We recommend faux flowers for this display since there won't be soil or water available, and real flowers may dry out quickly if hung in stockings over a fireplace. You could also place a poinsettia garland along the top of multiple stockings for a similar look.

17. Weave them into wreaths

Wreaths are probably the second-most classic piece of Christmas décor, right next to the Christmas tree. Give your spruce-covered door wreath a pop of color with the help of some faux poinsettias. Use a few large ones sparingly if you still want the other wreath details to be featured prominently or cluster many smaller flowers together so they dominate the wreath's frame. 

18. Build a hanging poinsettia display

We love a non-conventional holiday wreath, and this tiered hanging poinsettia piece is delightfully-whimsical. Using wreaths in three descending sizes, just hot glue your faux poinsettias onto the circles. You can accentuate them with spruce sprigs, eucalyptus leaves, and baubles as well. Once you've decorated them to your heart's content, just use long pieces of twine to suspend each ring. Hang above a sink, nook, or in a tall doorway.