Credit the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett with bringing this vibrant red and green plant to the USA. He was a botanist and physician who may have seen it in Central America where, as a perennial shrub, it that can grow 10 to 15 feet tall. December 12 is Poinsettia Day, the date on which Mr. Poinsett died in 1851.
Now there are more than 100 versions with cream, pink, burgundy, peach and marbled leaves, not flowers, that give it the holiday flair. They are called colored bracts. The real flower is small and green or yellow in the very center of each bunch of leaves. The poinsettia has also been called the lobster flower and flame-leaf flower. Today, most of the poinsettias distributed in the U.S. and half of world-wide sales are grown on a California ranch.
The holiday poinsettia can be found small and solo in the kitchen or powder room or on a desk, big and splashy in the living room or waiting room and clustered in attractive groups in churches, homes, restaurants and special events everywhere. It’s almost a Christmas requirement to have one flanking your hearth or gracing your table during the holidays.
Bloomstoday.com offers beautiful, lush, deluxe poinsettias in a beautiful deep cranberry red or the softer, chamois cream. Green leaves form the lower edge, and the entire potted plant rests in a horizontally-woven white basket, suitable for repurposing after the holidays. It’s not hard to care for poinsettias with these tips:
They do not like to be over-watered. As much as the top two to four inches of soil can dry between watering
Water at the soil, refrain from water on the leaves
Carry to the sink and water until it drains out the bottom
While not poisonous, as oft reported, they may make a pet or child uncomfortable if they lick or eat the leaves
Place near a sunny window, though do not permit it to touch cold glass
Best daylight temperatures are 65 to 70 degrees
Move to a cooler place at night, around 60 degrees, unless you turn down the heat (not necessary, just better for longevity)
Okay to place on an outdoor porch in warm climates
Imagine the delight and surprise of receiving a beautiful, full poinsettia this holiday season! Or two! One of each to the same person! It’s hard to choose between the vibrant red or winter white. Order now. Bloomstoday.com. 1-800-359-5309.
By Joanne M. Anderson