Poinsettias are not only beautiful, but are also traditional holiday plants used worldwide for decoration and gifting to near and dear ones. Maintaining poinsettias is easy, and you don’t even have to throw them away after Christmas once you coax them to bloom again each year.
Poinsettia Plants – Popular Holiday Plants
Native to the coast of Mexico, poinsettia plants were named as the Flowers of the Holy Night after a Christmas legend and are now quintssential holiday tradition throughout the world. Though red poinsettias are the most popular, hybrid varieties like pink and white are gaining more and more popularity these days. Poinsettias bloom during the short day-long night period and love humid conditions with lots of bright sunlight. They don’t really grow very well inside, but if given the proper conditions they will thrive well. Poinsettia plants are sensitive to changes in temperature and react badly to sudden rise or drop in the temperature. Don’t place the plant near an open doorway, a heater or an A.C. They also like a soil that’s well watered but dry to the touch, and any stagnant water on the plant base is detrimental, so use a tray of pebbles or gravel. Make sure that the plant is kept in darkness during the night till you see the colored bracts beginning to bloom. Also, buy a plant with dense foliage and one that’s atleast twice the size of its pot. Select poinsettias that have a strong base stem and show no wilting or drooping.
Poinsettia Flower – Colorful Varieties
The large colorful parts that look like the flower are actually leaves that are called bracts, while the actually poinsettia flower is a cluster of small yellow flowers in the center. The bracts are traditionally red and are what make the poinsettia famous for its beauty and the actual tiny flowers often go unnoticed. Modern hybrid varieties have led to people buying poinsettias in shades of white, pink or bi-colored varieties. When you buy the plant, check to see if the flower is opened or not, and buy the unbloomed one. Also, accumulation of pollen around the poinsettia flower is not a healthy sign, so check for yellow pollen particles before you purchase. Most people throw away their poinsettias after Christmas, partly because it is quite a cheap plant, and partly because they do not know the trick to keeping the plant healthy for the next bloom. Place the potted plant next to a window or on a table that receives a good amount of sun because the blooms love light. Make sure to mist the plant regularly with a spray bottle because they love humidity. You can alternatively also place a glass of water next to it. Poinsettias are in full bloom from January to April and not everyone is a gardening expert, so just buy yourself a potted poinsettia before Christmas and arrange it at an angle that’s the most visible in your home.
Poinsettia Tree – Growing In Gardens
The holiday poinsettia is not the only variety of this Mexican native. A poinsettia tree is a common garden variety plant that grows abundantly in Mexico, Central America and other regions that do not have sub-zero winter temperatures. The tree can grow quite tall and wide and spread out given the chance. But if you want to have one in your garden, yet live in a region with freezing winters, grow it in a container for the duration of the winter. A lot of gardening websites and magazines have detailed explanations for growing the tree. Remember that the colorful bracts and the leaves will ultimately fall off, leaving the plant bare. Don’t worry, because this is the time you should prune the bush. Leaving a poinsettia bush unattended will give way to unruly growth, which may cause hindrance to you eventually. Also, preferably start your poinsettias from a single pot and let it branch out, ultimately forming the tree trunk. Poinsettias are truly wonderful plants and a must-have Christmas tradition.