Poinsettias Deconstructed

I’ve long considered poinsettias a bit of a yawn for the Christmas season. That ubiquitous red doesn’t excite me at all and they are so overused that it’s hard to be inspired by them. But sometimes you just have to look at something with fresh eyes in order to bring it back to life again. Hence, the poinsettia as cut flower. And in fun new shades.

For me a true red poinsettia is always out. I find plain white or white with a touch of soft pink or red or any variegated version so much more interesting. In the photo below I have mixed white with just a hint of pink along with a slightly more red variegated shade and used them in the simplest arrangement of all. Cut and placed in a simple mason jar. I added cranberries to the jar and tied on a piece of ribbon for a bit of interest, but even that isn’t really necessary. Simple, but with plenty of interest and texture.

You can also mix the cut bracts in with other flowers as I have done below, combining them with holly and green hydrangeas. Any kind of Christmas greenery you have on hand would work, as would white hydrangeas or roses in varying shades of whites and pinks (or red if you like, I just happen to have a complete dislike of all red flowers).

If you’re so inclined you can get a bit fancier, although the arrangement below was hardly difficult and only took 10 minutes to complete, but it does require a footed vase and some floral foam or flower frog. I used a frog only because I accidently bought dry floral foam instead of the kind that can be soaked in water. I happened to have a frog on hand (doesn’t everyone?) so used that. I put in my greenery first so it would hang down on either side and then put the hydrangeas upfront and the poinsettias and hypericum berries in to fill the spaces. There’s no science to it, just play around until it looks pleasing to the eye.

The arrangement below is what I had left over. All told I bought two poinsettias from Trader Joes at $6.99 a piece, one bunch of hydrangeas, two of hypericum berries and mixed it with holly (I have a holly tree in my garden) and greenery that I had on hand.

I also found at my local nursery a variety of mini poinsettias in shades of pink. So charming. I bought a white, light pink and dark pink and set them together in the middle of my dining room table, that’s the photo from up top. Christmasy, yet not.

Below, I cut off a bract and used it on a present.

I found myself a newfound lover of the poinsettia this year. So many fabulous colors to choose from. And a huge plus is that they last for several weeks, so while some of the other flowers might need replenishing over the weeks, the poinsettias should last for the entirety of the holiday season.

And one more thing that I have done several times over the years, is to spray the bracts with glitter. I didn’t do it this year because when I went for the bottle I have on hand, I discovered it was empty and kept forgetting to buy a new one. It adds just the right amount of sparkle and manages to elevate even the red poinsettia.

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