Contemporary Christmas twists on the traditional poinsettia

Snow White skyplanters

Snow White skyplanters - Credit: Archant

As December arrives, so does the annual onslaught of bright red potted poinsettia in supermarkets across the land, acting as an instant sign that Christmas is approaching.

Incidental florals

Incidental florals - Credit: Archant

While these are a perfectly fine way to add splash of bold colour to homes in an instant, this year has seen the plant re-imagined by some of Europe’s most cutting edge floral designers.

Whether you go all out with abundant table decorations like Rebel Rebel or stick closer to tradition with restrained but sweet small gifts, take inspiration from the pictures below. This is the poinsettia as you’ve never seen it before.

Restoration table

East London’s Rebel Rebel used the unusual salmon poinsettia for their ‘Restoration’ themed table setting.

Restoration table

Restoration table - Credit: Archant

Bushy chair-backs and a sprawling centrepiece set at different heights will add a Baroque flair to any Christmas table and bring the outdoors in during the chilly season.

Marvellous mantel

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Combine poinsettia with other winter blooms like hydrangeas, snowberries, wildflowers and green foliage.

Strew them across the mantelpiece, or any other suitable surface, to create a festive focal point away from the TV.

Marvellous mantel

Marvellous mantel - Credit: Archant

Crazy colours

Go beyond traditional red and green by combining vibrant scarlet poinsettia with purple clematis and hot pink gloriosa lilies.

Add interestingly shaped anthuriums and calla lilies for a bold, structural look.

Include poinsettia in a vibrant colourful arrangement

Include poinsettia in a vibrant colourful arrangement - Credit: Archant

How to choose and look after poinsettia throughout the year

Fairytale festivities

Take inspiration from Snow White like these German designers with blood-red flowers in a pure white setting.

It’s surprisingly easy to recreate the hanging flowers at home with sky planters.

Snow White

Snow White - Credit: Archant

Cool runner

Prettily washed-out winter colours are used to stunning effect in this contemporary table runner.

Unusual materials and techniques create a real twist to the traditional displays often found at this time of year.

Cool runner

Cool runner - Credit: Archant

Incidental florals

Another way to use poinsettia to surprising effect is to pop them into unusual settings.

Pop them into nooks and crannies throughout the house for a casual effect, or place under bell jars and glass cloches for a vintage scientific look.


Cloche - Credit: Archant

Quirky gifts

The striking look of poinsettia makes them perfect for simple yet bold gifts, an ideal party thank you at this time of year.

Combine the flowers with fake red apples and wild twigs or use as a base for candles, for a truly festive gift.

Quirky gifts

Quirky gifts - Credit: Archant