For many people, winter holiday decorations would not be complete without the poinsettia. The poinsettia is actually a shrub that can attain a height of about 16 feet. People often mistakenly refer to the red pedal-like part of the plant as a flower, but in reality, they are leaves.There are more than 100 cultivated varieties of the plants that feature five colors ranging from white to red. Poinsettias are a hardy plant, but often they fail to receive proper care that will ensure more than a one season life. When the surface of the soil becomes dry to the touch, pour the water onto the soil until it flows out of the bottom of the pot; do not allow the plant to sit in standing water. The plant loves the sun, so place it in a north-facing window if possible.