Our favorite holiday potted plant becomes much more versatile when we start thinking outside the pot.
When you think "poinsettia," what comes to mind? A pretty red -- or perhaps white -- flower in a pot on the coffee table? If so, get ready for some pleasant surprises. This staple of the holiday gardening season has blossomed into a new range of colors. Even more exciting: It turns out that poinsettias make excellent cut flowers if you treat them right.
Once a poinsettia leaves the pot, it's free to spread its wings in new places. For example, you can place several cuttings of various colors in a vase to make a colorful addition to a mantel. Or tuck the stems into floral picks -- those water-filled tubes that cut flowers come in -- and nestle them into holiday wreaths or Christmas trees.
Cuttings can last up to two weeks if you follow these simple steps:
If you're shopping for poinsettias in supermarkets and the like, you may not have encountered the wide range of colors and patterns found in modern varieties. A visit to a well-stocked florist or garden center will turn up poinsettias that are: