The shops are awash with poinsettias at this time of year in shades of red, pink and cream, the colourful bracts having taken an average of eight weeks to turn from green to red.

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Garden centres, supermarkets, homeware shops and DIY stores all have them on display, but you need to be careful how you choose and care for your festive poinsettia, says Appleyard London.

Once you've chosen your berry red plant, it's all about where you position it in your house.

 

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"Stand the poinsettia indoors in a position which gets plenty of natural light.  A temperature of between 16 and 21°C (60-70°F) is ideal," says a spokesperson from Appleyard London.

"Avoid draughts or exposure to excessively warm or cold temperatures, such as above a radiator or behind closed curtains at night."

And as for caring for a poinsettia, they shared these top tips:

- The compost should be kept moist.  Do not allow it to dry out completely, but equally do not allow the plant to become waterlogged.  Where possible, water over a sink and allow any excess water to drain out.  Avoid using very cold water.

- Remove any dying or damaged leaves as you see them.

 

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- Poinsettias are designed to provide colour for at least 2-3 weeks and, with ideal conditions, a little longer.  Normally plants are discarded after this time, but with patience and care it is possible to get your Poinsettia to reflower the following year:  rest the plant after flowering; prune the top back to 4-6in (10-15cm) above the pot in June or July; place in darkness for 12 hours a day from late September at a minimum of 16c (60F), feeding regularly and giving plenty of daylight for the rest of the day, until the bracts have coloured up again.