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Poinsettias: A Short Guide To The #1 Holiday Plant

Poinsettias: A Short Guide To The #1 Holiday Plant

Author: Adrianna C.


Poinsettias are one of the most popular plants of the holiday season. Poinsettias remain the highest selling potted flowering plant, with Easter Lilies a distant second. They are also known as the Mexican flame leaf or the Christmas star. It is native to Mexico and Central American where it grows in balmy, moist climates. A botanist and first U.S. minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, sent some plants home to South Carolina as holiday gifts for friends in 1828. An Act of Congress established December 12 as National Poinsettia Day.


This Christmas plant is the most widely tested consumer plant on the market today. This plant is infamous for the myth that it is very poisonus to pets and children. However, scientific research from The Ohio State University has proved the poinsettia to be non-toxic. Poinsettias are still not meant to be eaten, and if ingested, this plant can cause stomach irritation. Cats and children CAN choke on the fibrous parts if ingested, so be sure to keep these plants out of their reach.


Poinsettias do well indoors and come in many colors, sizes, and styles. Red is the most popular color, accounting for roughly three-quarters of all sales nationwide, followed by white and pink. Poinsettias come in a range of colors from the more popular red, salmon, and white to yellow and peach. There are also speckled or marbled varieties that include several of these colors blended together. New varieties are introduced yearly and can find what suits your needs at your local NYC florist.


When considering a poinsettia you should always look for plants with dark green leaves and bright bracts. The little yellow flower in the middle of a bract should be tight and show a little color. If the outside temperature is below 40 degrees, the plant should be wrapped or sleeved because even though poinsettias are sold at Christmas time, they cannot withstand cold temperatures outdoors. They should be kept at a comfortable room temperature, away from cold drafts and hot appliances. Poinsettias prefer daytime temperatures between 65 and 70 and require bright indirect light. In their natural habitat (not in a pot), poinsettias can grow up to 10 feet in height. When considering the poinsettias watering schedule, you should examine the soil daily, and when the surface is dry to the touch, water the soil until it runs freely out the drainage hole in the container. If a saucer is used, discard the water that collects in it, if you leave the plant standing in water, root injury may occur. 


Poinsettias are a wonderful way to decorate for the holidays. If you are not too fond of the idea of simply displaying them in foil, we have a few tips and tricks to share that will make any setting beautiful. Poinsettias are a natural but bold way to decorate a Christmas tree. Insert them into small floral vials filled with water and place them in your Christmas tree. You can add them sparingly or fill up your entire tree with the big blooms. 'Mini Star' poinsettias are grown in small pots which make them great for place settings at a table. You can get the same effect with a single cut poinsettia in a small cup or vase if your local florist does not carry the Mini Star poinsettias. A single poinsettia in a florist's pick is ingenious subsitute for ribbon or bow atop a wrapped gift.


These beautiful holiday plants will look stunning in your home or place of business. With the proper care and techniques, they can brighten up any location. The addition of poinsettias truly makes a home holiday-ready! 



Photo Sources: Pinterest & Better Homes and Gardens