Written by Marge B.
In the month of December, bright red Poinsettias are in abundance in homes and stores, offices, and businesses. These decorative flowers are associated with the holiday season. Green Thumb Nursery is stocked with a variety of poinsettias in seasonal color Poinsettia ‘Red’. In Spanish, the flower is called Flor de La Noche Buena (Flower of the Holy Night) due to the flower’s appearance, looking like a star and resembling the Star of Bethlehem. The bright red petals are not flowers, but the yellow centers of the petals are really flowers. The poinsettia plant was discovered in Europe in 1834. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is used in Christmas floral displays. It gets its name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who is responsible for introducing the plant to the United States in the 1820s. On one of his trips from Mexico, he brought a plant back to his home in South Carolina. The United States has named December 12, 2023, as National Poinsettia Day. There are over one hundred varieties of poinsettias. These beautiful flowering plants belong to the Euphorbia (or Spurge) family. The plant’s botanical is named Euphorbia pulcherrima. The colors of the Poinsettias include shades of red, pink, white, yellow, and purple. Green Thumb Nursery has these beautiful potted flowers available in Poinsettia White’ and Poinsettia Pink’ in addition to the beautiful reds. The ancient Aztecs believed that white poinsettias were the symbols of purity. Pink poinsettias symbolize feminine beauty and signify love and healing from grief and anxiety.
Pink poinsettias are popular as a springtime flower in Japan.
When you select your holiday poinsettia, select a plant that has a lot of healthy-looking fully opened bracts. Ensure that there is no pollen on any of the bracts because its presence signifies that the plant is nearing the end of its blooming cycle. Bright bracts are brighter in color than the true flowers. The best plants should be at least 2 ½ times larger than the pot’s diameter.
If you decide to leave the foil or decorative paper on your plant for a more decorative look, be sure to poke holes into the bottom to prevent your plant from sitting in water.
After selecting the right holiday Poinsettia for your home, make sure that this beautiful plant has warm temperatures, light, and humidity. A quality poinsettia plant that receives proper care can flower for 2 to 3 months. Most poinsettia plants flower for 4 to 6 weeks before the flowers start dropping.
Poinsettias are tropical plants, and they require warm temperatures, light, and humidity.
Poinsettia plants require a minimum of six hours of bright but indirect light every day. Put it near a bright window. Be careful not to let leaf bracts touch cold like a glass window or sliding glass door.
Poinsettias do not tolerate changes in temperature. The best temperature range for poinsettia plants is between 65- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit. If the plant experiences extreme temperatures or cold drafts, the leaf bracts will drop, and plants will start to look messy.
Be careful not to over water your Poinsettias. You should only water plants when the soil feels dry. The best way to know is by placing your finger into the soil to see if it is damp or moist below the surface. Do not allow your Poinsettia plants to sit in a puddle of water. If you are growing the plant indoors, consider placing your poinsettia pot on small rocks or pebbles to provide your plant with the humidity it needs. You can mist leaf bracts regularly to keep them hydrated.
You should never fertilize your Poinsettia plants when they are blooming.
What do you do with a poinsettia when the leaves fall off?
After about half of the poinsettia’s leaves have fallen off, it reduces the watering and allows the soil to dry out gradually in preparation for dormancy. The colorful yellow bracts in the center of the petals will be the last to fall off. When the soil is completely dry, the plant is in a dormant state.
After Christmas Care of Poinsettias
Place the poinsettias where they will receive at least 6 hours of indirect, but bright, sunlight each day. In mid-April, pinch back the stems to 6-8 inches and place the plants in a sunny location. When new growth begins, you may use a liquid fertilizer to ensure the plants get enough minerals.
Green Thumb also has a Poinsettia that is a suitable shrub for planting in the garden. St. Louis Red Garden Poinsettia. St. Louis Red Garden Poinsettia will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. This variety of species is known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care is necessary when the plant is in an area that is around children and pets. This shrub needs to grow in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions but will not tolerate any standing water. St. Louis Red Garden Poinsettia looks good in the garden as an accent on your outdoor landscape design, but the shrub is also suitable for use outdoors in pots and containers. Typically, poinsettias planted in the garden live for only one or two years. A CBS news story in 2016 reported that a man in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia had a poinsettia in his home for over 20 years, but that is the exception. There is a legend that the Christmas Poinsettia represents the birth and death of Christ. The Poinsettia is the flower of the holy night, inspired by a bright star blessed in heavenly sight. Over Christ in the manger the star of Bethlehem shone, while Mother Earth created a flowering star of her own. The many pointed petals so soft in snowy white surrounded a golden center like a star shining bright. Later, when Christ died, the white petals turned red, in honor of our Lord and the blood he shed. So, at Christmas, remember how the Poinsettia came to represent the birth and death of Christ that would live eternally.
Even for someone with a limited holiday, a beautiful Poinsettia is an inexpensive way to bring holiday cheer to a home or office. For people born in the month of December, Poinsettias are the honorary flower that celebrates their birth month. Poinsettias symbolize good cheer and success and help to bring wishes for joy and celebration. Poinsettias are fitting for the holiday season because they symbolize joy regardless of the color of the plant. The garden experts at Green Thumb Nurseries will help you select the right poinsettias and other plants and decorate items for your holiday celebrations and advise you about the proper care of the items that you select.
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