To make the most of a purchase of a poinsettia for the holidays , begin by choosing a healthy plant. Look for a plant with strong stems and no signs of wilting. The freshest plants will have a tight cluster of yellow flowers in the center of the bract. Protect the plant from temperatures below 50 degrees while transporting home. If necessary, place it in a large shopping bag.
At home, place the plant in bright, indirect light (at least 6 hours a day). Don't put it near a draft, excess heat (like a fireplace or heater) or near heating or a/c vents. Water when the soil begins to dry. It needs moderate water but always pour the excess out that accumulates in the saucer after watering. The roots will rot if kept too wet.