Make sure your poinsettia makes it through the holidays

Poinsettias can last well into the springtime if maintained properly.

Poinsettias are a popular choice for holiday decoration, but they leave many people scratching their heads.

How do you properly care for a poinsettia?

According to Jim Bremer, a manager at Earl May Nursery in Ottumwa, poinsettias begin selling the week of Thanksgiving and well after Christmas into the New Year.

Bremer told KTVO reporter Kate Allt that the first trick is to pick a plant with dark green leaves and vibrant color, with no drooping leaves. Most poinsettias have six leaves per flower, so ones with less may not be healthy.

Then, it all comes down to the watering.

"Poinsettias are a plant that needs to be [moist]," Bremer told Allt. "You don't want to let them dry clear out, if they dry clear out, like with some houseplants you can let them get completely dry, then water them, poinsettias you want to keep them moist-not soaked, but moderately moist all the time. If they droop, if the leaves droop on them and they're dry, rarely will they come back up again."

The best way to tell if there is enough water is to pat the soil around the plant and make sure there is enough, but not too much, water.

If kept in a well-lit area, but not in direct sunlight, poinsettias can last well into the springtime.