With being just as iconic as the Christmas tree, we are introducing Poinsettias as we lead into the holiday season! Also known as the Christmas Star, Crown of the Andes, or the Christmas Flower, the Poinsettia has been a symbol for holiday cheer and festivities for centuries.
A botanist during the 1800s by the name of Joel Roberts Poinsett traveled to Mexico as a minister and was introduced to the “Mexican Flame Flower”. He loved it so much that he sent several to his greenhouses in South Carolina to propagate and be introduced as a festive symbol. Incredibly popular in both folklore and modern history, the Poinsettia blooms as a true symbol of the holiday spirit all over the world.
The Poinsettia is a member of the Euphorbia/Spurge genus and is native to Mexico and Central America. This plant comes in an array of colors ranging from red to white and even purple. The leafy colorful part of the Poinsettia is called the bracts.
One of the newer Poinsettia hybrids is the ‘Plum Pudding; this is the first purple Poinsettia hybrid! Each color of Poinsettia symbolizes something else. For instance, white stands for purity or forgiveness while pink stands for renewal.
Here are a few pointers to keep your new holiday cheer bright and lively. If your Poinsettia comes in foil, poke some holes in the bottom to encourage drainage. Poinsettias are susceptible to root rot, so overwatering is the quickest way to kill your new plant. Wilting leaves and a brown/black stem are signs of overwatering or root rot. Put your plant in bright filtered light, yellowing or dropping of the leaves can be a sign of not enough light.
Keep your Poinsettia warm! They prefer to be in 65-75 degrees to keep them in bloom for as long as possible. Be sure to avoid drafts or letting your Poinsettia touch a cold window because this can also injure them.
There isn’t a window display that doesn’t have Poinsettias during the holidays. Be sure to grab a few to brighten your home or give away as gifts this holiday season!