I grew up with a mom who loved poinsettias. As a result, I love them too. I always get one or two, they are gorgeous and so darn festive. But when Christmas is over? I throw them away. Just chuck the whole thing, pot, plant and tacky foil wrapper. Gone. Mom on the other hand, she'd prune them back and put them in the basement because somewhere she heard that not watering them and putting them out of the sun would keep them for the next season. That never, ever worked. The instructions are much more involved then tossing the thing into the basement to die. I guess that's why I just throw them away. This year before I chucked the pot I decided to make some arrangements out of them. And, man, these are some finicky flowers. But, after Googling a few tips I've managed to keep them happy. And it's been worth it. They are so pretty.
This is just with a few blooms from the grocery store. So if you are going to just throw them out next week, cut them! Here's how.
Cut the stems from the base, near the dirt. Place them in a vase of cold water for 30 minutes, then take them out of the water and burn each stem (I used a long candle lighter, you could use an actual lit candle too, don't want to burn yourself!) and the moisture at the end will bubble. When it stops and the stem is charred, place it in a vase with fresh water. They should last up to two weeks, if they start to wilt, snip the bottom and burn it again, clean the water and wait. I know, I know, this is ridiculous! Keep them in the pot if you want, but if you want to change it up, now you can.