Date: November 29th, 2012
Poinsettias (Eurphorbia pulcherrima) are brightly colored red and green plants that are a classic holiday decoration. For all things poinsettias, read on!
Did you know...
• The colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as flowers are actually colored bracts. The plant's flower is actually in the center of the colorful bracts and is usually yellow in color.
• While most people associate snowy winters with poinsettias, they are actually native to southern Mexico.
• In Mexico and Guatemala, Poinsettias are known as "La Flor de la Nochebuend" (Flower of the Holy Night, or Christmas Eve)
• Poinsettias are named in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant to America in 1828.
• December 12th is "Poinsettia Day." Why December 12th? This marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1851.
• In their native environment, Poinsettias are perennial flowering shrubs that were once considered weeds
• Poinsettias can grow 10 feet tall!
• There are over 100 varieties of Poinsettias available.
• Poinsettias are the best-selling potted plant in the United States and Canada.
• Poinsettias are not poisonous – an Ohio State /university study showed that a 50-pound child would need to eat more than a pound-and-a-quarter of leaves to have any side effects. That is approximately 500-600 leaves! The most common side effects from ingestion are upset stomach and vomiting.
Caring for Poinsettias
Many people enjoy Poinsettia's beauty for more than just the holiday season – and you can too! With proper care, Poinsettias can last for 1-2 months or more. Some people report the Poinsettia lasting through the entire year to the next Christmas!
Here's what you can do to help your poinsettia thrive:
• Place the plant in your home in an area that receives around 6 hours of direct sunlight. Remember, Poinsettias are tropical plants that will benefit from as much sunlight as possible.
• Keep Poinsettias away from drafts – both hot and cold. Check the air flow of your selected area and make sure a radiator, vent or open door doesn't blow in that direction.
• Don't allow the plant to brush up against windows. Windows will be cold due to outside temperatures.
• The ideal temperature for Poinsettias are 60-70ºF in the day, and around 55-60ºF in the night.
• Water! Water the plant whenever the surface soil feels dry to the touch. If the plant's foil does not have drainage holes, poke them in the bottom and place it on a tray or saucer. Poinsettias that lack adequate water will wilt and tend to drop bracts sooner.
• After the holiday season is over, apply a houseplant fertilizer. This should be done once a month but not when the plant is in bloom.
Tip: For the longest-lasting Poinsettias, choose plants that have little or no yellow pollen showing in the center of the plant.
Look for Poinsettias in your local CountryMax around the beginning of December! Don't miss out on a true holiday tradition!