You can tell how fresh a poinsettia is by looking at its true flowers. They’re the yellow pea-sized structures in the middles of the colorful bracts. When they first open, they have a sticky, honey-like fluid in their centers. As they dry up, and especially as they begin to fall, the plant is passing its prime.
If your poinsettia plant comes in a paper or plastic sleeve, cut or peel it off. Don’t try to push the plant up and out of it.
Poinsettias have been grown in sunny, cool conditions, so keep your plant in a bright spot and away from hot drafts. Above all, don’t let it wilt. Once a poinsettia wilts, it will start dropping lower leaves.
Poinsettias ARE NOT POISONOUS, as per research done in the mid-1970s at The Ohio State University. The white latex sap may cause skin irritation, but they are definitely not poisonous.