Choose a healthy plant, one that will keep going through the following year. Carefully examine the plant at purchase, looking for dark green foliage along the entire lengths of stems, with leaves that aren’t wilted. Be sure the bracts (the red leaves) are completely colored and bright in appearance. Also beware of 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.