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Everything You Need to Know About the Poinsettia

Luttinen Family Poinsettia; Bloomfield Hills, MI

The Poinsettia has been a symbol for Christmas for as long as we can remember. What is it about this bright red flower that has given it such a status?

Red is not the only shade of a Poinsettia. They come in white, red, pink, variegated, and burgundy.

Potted Poinsettias need indirect light from the window or a grow light so they can continue to grow. They should receive about 6 hours of sunlight a day. With proper care, they can last for months. If you want your Poinsettia to bloom next year give it at least 14 hours of darkness each night for 6-10 weeks to trigger blooming.

Do not fertilize these flowers while they are in bloom and keep them in a room with a temperature of 65-70 degrees. Only water the plant when the soil is dry.

Brittanica.com
Brittanica.com

History

This flower comes from Central and South America. It was introduced to the United States in 1828 by Joel Roberts Poinsett. The Poinsettia gets its common name from him, which is why Poinsettia is typically capitalized. While traveling, he sent a clipping from Taxco, Mexico to the United States to share his findings.

Christmas

This flower from the Euphorbia family, is a symbol of Christmas.  An old myth about a young girl named Pepita connects Poinsettias and Christmas. 

Pepita did not have a Christmas gift to present at church so she picked a bouquet of weeds to give. When presenting the bouquet to the altar it transformed into a beautiful bouquet of red flowers, Poinsettias. 

In Mexico, Poinsettias are called the “Flores de Noche Buena” which translates to the Flowers of Christmas Eve.

Decorating

Poinsettias can be placed on the kitchen table, on top of the fireplace or even under the Christmas tree. Let’s focus on some in depth tips for decorating with Poinsettias.

A bright flower can spice up any space. During the holidays there are plenty of ways to decorate with Poinsettias. Some things you can do are:

  • Add them to the Christmas tree or a Christmas wreath
  • Use them as a centerpiece on the dinner table
  • Place them on the mantel
  • Grow them under a grow light
  • A tip for using Poinsettia clippings is to seal the stem.
    • First clip the flower and part of the stem off.
    • Then seal the steam by holding it over a flame.
    • Finally, insert the clipping in a flower tube with water to prolong its life.

References

https://web.extension.illinois.edu/poinsettia/facts.cfm

https://www.hgtv.com/design/design-blog/design/poinsettia-decor-ideas

http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/6-easy-ways-decorate-poinsettias/

https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/poinsettia.shtml

https://www.seattletimes.com/life/lifestyle/how-to-keep-your-poinsettia-alive/

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