Poinsettias are a vibrant, welcoming Christmas tradition, and they are for more than just gifting to friends and neighbors. Did you know that you can make a spectacular poinsettia centerpiece with these charming plants?

Learn the simple trick that allows you to cut your poinsettia plants and enjoy the blooms in a more fresh and modern way – as a cut flower centerpiece!

Southern Living Christmas entertaining & table setting from entertaining expert Julie Blanner
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Earlier in my blogging career, I traveled to a gorgeous area in North Carolina and had the opportunity to visit a greenhouse that grows poinsettias. As I was enjoying dinner among the beautiful sea of red poinsettias, I started looking at them in a different light.

I began dreaming of how I could give the traditional flower a new look and incorporate it into our home. Once I got the idea in my head, nothing could stop me!

Of course, I came home and immediately created another one of my easy floral centerpieces from just one plant. They’re bold, bright and beautiful, and when paired with my soft neutrals, wintery perfection!

Julie Blanner shares her Christmas entertaining tips with Souther Living magazine, including this 5 minute diy Christmas centerpiece using a poinsettia!

Poinsettia Centerpieces

Did you know that I spent nearly 12 years planning weddings and events, before blogging full time? One of the most difficult things I had to do was to try to make the most of a floral budget to make an impact because flowers are so costly!

A tip I’ve been sharing for years (but let’s not look back at those photographs, alright) is to use plants versus fresh cut flowers. You’ll save at least 50% by cutting those blooms yourself.

You never see fresh cut poinsettias though! Deconstructing them gives them an entirely different aesthetic and is quite stunning.

neutral Christmas dining room with simple decorations and a white poinsettia centerpiece on the table
Another example of a white poinsettia centerpiece, using this same technique and tutorial!

I love simple centerpieces, and I’ve created many beautiful holiday centerpieces over the years. Don’t miss this complete guide to 15+ simple DIY Christmas centerpieces to make entertaining simpler this year!

What You’ll Need

Here’s the recipe for a deconstructed poinsettia centerpiece:

  • 1 poinsettia plant (usually around $5) Get the recipe to create a gorgeous poinsettia centerpiece for just $5!
  • bud vases
  • scissors

How to Make a Poinsettia Centerpiece

  1. Identify your best blooms – we’re hoping for 5+ branches off of one plant! I do this in-store.
  2. Cut the stem at the base of the plant, carefully considering the height of the vase to ensure the length of your stem is similar. Remove all green leaves, even when blended with the red. Step by step tutorial to create a gorgeous  holiday centerpiece with just 1 poinsettia
  3. Rinse your stems carefully, not to damage the red blooms. This will remove most of the white milky substance from cutting them.
  4. Fill your “vases” with water. Cut your stems so that the blooms sit on top, straight up, but long enough it looks like the blooms are standing in the glassware. Easy DIY Christmas centerpiece - get the recipe!
  5. Arrange them down the center of the table! Depending on how many guests you’re expecting, you may want to make a table runner or group them together. I mixed them in with tapers as well!
A red Poinsettia centerpiece cut into vases down the center of a table


  • Did you know that poinsettias are naturally green and then forced red?
  • Did you know that poinsettias are not poisonous? Here is one of the many articles debunking the myth.
  • For an extra step that might help keep your cut poinsettias alive in the vase for longer, burn the end of the stem with a lighter for approximately 3-5 seconds. This might keep the milky sap within the stem itself, hence extending their life once cut.
A red Poinsettia centerpiece cut into vases down the center of a table

Frequently Asked Questions

Do poinsettias make good cut flowers?

Yes! While they are generally used as a holiday plant, they also make beautiful cut blooms and last surprisingly well in a vase.

What is the meaning of giving a poinsettia for Christmas?

Poinsettia plants tend to symbolize good will and good cheer at the holidays. Historically, the poinsettia might represent the Star of Bethlehem thanks to its leaf shape.

What do you do with poinsettias after Christmas?

If you’d like, you can keep your poinsettia alive just like any other houseplant all year long! They like bright, indirect sunlight.

A red Poinsettia centerpiece cut into vases down the center of a table

I’d love to hear from you! Are you a fan of simple centerpieces like I am?

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  1. i really love this idea! we do something similar with fake plants because our cat will eat pretty much anything. glad to know that poinsettias being posion is a mith!

  2. I love the simplicity and colors featured in your poinsettia ensemble! My favorite entertaining idea is offering my guests the opportunity to borrow a book from my “library” as a party favor – I have tons of books in my home and I enjoy sharing the literary happiness.

  3. Cute idea! I can’t do poinsettias because they’re poisonous to my pets, but I’d love to try this with a different plant!

  4. These are beautiful! I love the simple elegance of them, except my cat would probably eat poinsettas…so I’d have to do something else instead! Fresh pine or wintry herbs? xo