Although the presence of a poinsettia during the holidays can veer on clichéd, these sturdy red (or white or pink) beauties can add a dash of color and warmth to the home. I think they look best perched on a mantleplace or gracing an entryway. Organically grown poinsettias are out there but you just may have to do a bit of looking around. The best thing to do? Simply call up your local greenhouse or florist and inquire before heading out. Despite common myth, poinsettias are indeed nontoxic (but I wouldn’t recommend feeding their leaves to Mr. Whiskers) and can be easily composted along with certain other holiday leftovers, giving your compost pile a splash of that trademark vivid color.

For those of us who have trouble keeping even a cactus alive, Lauri from The Happy Gardener has insightful tips on how to care for poinsettias so that they last though the holidays.

Happy poinsettia-ing! 

Image: jacilluch

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Get to the poinsettia, will you?
The poinsettia is an ubiquitous piece of holiday greenery. Here's how to care for one...