Saturday, 19 December 2009

  Poinsettia, Was named for an American Diplomat to Mexico in the 1800 hundreds, He liked the plant!!!!!! His name was Poinsette


Poinsettia Care

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulchenima) is native to southern Mexico and Mesoamerica and unlike today's commercial cultivars, they grow into straight and tall trees often up to heights of 3 meters. It was cultivated by the Aztecs of Mexico for its brilliant flower and was processed to make dye. Poinsettias were introduced into the United States in 1825 by the first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsette from the USA. The common name for the plant, poinsettia, came from his last name. Poinsette, a renowned botanist, had several plants sent to his home in Greenville, South Carolina, which he later distributed to various botanical gardens. Today, poinsettias are one of the most important floricultural crops in the United States with a production valued at several hundred million dollars.
In the early 20th century, the Ecke family at their ranch just north of San Diego began outdoor production of poinsettias for use as a landscape plants and as a cut flowers. Today more than three-fourths of the cuttings sold in the U.S. come from the Ecke Ranch. The most popular seller is the Freedom series. Jingle Bells (speckled bracts) is second in popularity and a novelty variety, Winter Rose, is third. Winter Rose has curved or curled instead of flat bracks.
The usual life expectancy for poinsettia flowers is from 2 to 4 weeks. With some of the newer varieties, however, the bracts may last unit late in the spring. The colourful parts of the poinsettia, the bracts, are actually modified leaves. The poinsettia flower is small and situated in the middle of the bracts. Flowers that are green or red and fresh looking will last longer than ones with yellow grains of pollen on them. After purchasing your plant do not expose it to cold drafts of air. If the temperature is below 13 0 C, have your plant wrapped to protect it as you carry the plant to your car.

The poinsettia you buy for Christmas was grown at temperatures between 17 an 21 o C , with high humidity and as much sunshine as possible in the greenhouse. You will need to simulate these conditions as much as possible to ensure the plant lasts for a long period after your purchase. You will want to place the plant in a well-lighted location free from drafts and extremes in temperature.

Keep the plant from touching cold windowpanes. Poinsettias thrive in bright but not direct sunlight. It should have at least 6 to 8 hours of direct natural or artificial light and placed in a window facing south, east or west. If possible, keep the plant with other plants or place the pot in a gravel-filled pan with water. This practice will keep the humidity a little higher around the plant in an otherwise dry, winter home.

Examine the plant on a regular basis for watering. When the soil surface feels dry to the touch fill the pot to the top with water and allow it to soak in until the excess begins to drain out the bottom. Do not leave the pot setting in a pool of water. Over watering will damage the roots and will result in wilting or leaf problems (turning yellow and dropping prematurely). Insufficient light, drafts and lack of nitrogen may also cause the leaves to turn yellow or drop. Freezing temperatures or cold drafts may cause wilting of the leaves.

Various reports over the years have led many to believe that poinsettias are toxic to humans. Careful research at several universities has shown that poinsettias are not poisonous. However, some people are allergic to the white milky sap (latex) and may develop a skin rash when exposed to this material. It is wise to avoid breaking the stems and leaves and to keep plants out of the reach of small children and pets.


  1. this is very interesting sonny.
    bernie loves the white poinsettias the best.
    they are all pretty though and if you look after them properly, they will continue to live quite well!
    love terry

    ps..this would have made a perfect ruby tuesday sonny sikora!

  2. you know what I was going to send it in. However I have been busy and just plain forgot