If you’re going to keep the plant going until the following year, you must start with a healthy plant. Carefully examine the plant at purchase, looking for plants that have dark green foliage along the entire lengths of stems with leaves that aren’t wilted. Be sure that the bracts (the red “leaves”) are completely colored and bright in color. Also look for any signs of insect infestation.
Insulate the plant with plastic before leaving the store if it’s cold outside. The longer the plant is exposed to cold conditions, the more likely it is to be unhealthy and not last as long.