Pick a poinsettia
December 17, 2019
Our love of poinsettias is in full bloom this holiday season. You’ll find their classic cheery red color on an array of things to decorate your holiday tabletop and your Christmas tree.
Your Christmas tree can be embellished with our Capiz Check Bell Ornaments, which will look great with other red and green holiday decor, and are trimmed with tartan bows. Adding our poinsettia picks and clips to the tree, including the Courtly Check Red Poinsettia, the Peppermint Poinsettia Clip, and the Peppermint Poinsettia Stem, ups the drama and dimension even more. On the table or sideboard, place our Poinsettia Capiz Trees and our Harlequin Poinsettia Trees, which can be found in varying sizes.
It’s easy to see why we’ve been so inspired by the poinsettia. Considered a Christmas classic, the plant’s common name comes from Joel Roberts Poinsett, an amateur botanist and the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant to the U.S. in the 1820s. In Mexico, the plant became associated with Christmas because of a legend that tells of how a bouquet of simple weeds became crimson poinsettia blossoms when placed on a church altar.
In the United States, December 12 is National Poinsettia Day. So, in honor of that, here are some interesting tidbits about poinsettias, plus some tips for caring for your live poinsettia plants.
- The poinsettia is a species of the diverse spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). Indigenous to Central America, it was described as a new species in 1834.
- Poinsettias account for about one-quarter of flowering potted plant sales—over 34 million are sold each year. There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias. Colors can range from purple (‘Plum Pudding’), yellow (‘Lemon Drop’) and red dotted with pink (‘Jingle Bells’). The most popular color is classic red.
- The flowers on poinsettias are very small and yellow and are called cyathia. The most decorative parts of the poinsettia, which many people call the flower, are the colorful bracts (modified leaves).
- Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous and it’s OK to put them in the compost pile. But it’s a good idea to keep them out of reach of pets and children. Also, avoid the plant’s sticky white sap, which might cause skin irritation.
- Poinsettias are tropical plants and need direct sunlight. Place your poinsettia near a sunny window and avoid windows facing north.
- Maintain a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees during the day and no less than 60 degrees at night. To prevent leaf drop, avoid cold drafts or allowing the leaves to touch a cold window.
- Water the plant whenever the surface feels dry. Water until it drains out the bottom, but do not let the plant sit in water.
- If you want to save your poinsettia after the holidays and bring it into bloom again next year, you can follow a repotting and reblooming procedure that takes several months to accomplish. Be advised that this process is not easy. If it doesn’t happen, reward yourself with a new poinsettia.