Named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, poinsettias (Euphorbia Pulcherrima) are brightly colored flowers, considered as traditional Christmas plants. The plant is native to Mexico and Central America, and grows in a wide variety of colors, including white, pink, cream, peach, marbled, speckled, and yellow. Actually, the colorful wing-like bracts of poinsettia plants are modified leaves, and not petals. The small flower is greenish or yellow in color and remains enveloped in the middle of the bracts. United States has even dedicated a day (December 12) to celebrate as a National Poinsettias Day.
The popularity of poinsettias in Christmas decorations goes with a prodigy from Mexico in 16th century that describes that when a young poor girl was unable to get gift for Jesus Christ’s birthday, she drew inspiration form an angel and collected some weeds from the roadside. Later, she kept them in front of the Christmas altar. Soon, the weeds turned into beautiful crimson blossoms magically and later, came to be known as poinsettias. Since then, poinsettias are a part of popular Christmas decorations across North America. Blossoming beds of poinsettias can beautify your garden to a great extent. However, planting them demands a lot of care and attention. Go through the tips given below and learn how to make your garden a sprinkling bed of colorful poinsettias.
Tips For Growing Poinsettias
- Always purchase a poinsettia plant with sturdy stems. Also, see that the plant is intense and dark in color.
- Check that there is little or no yellow pollen on the flower clusters. Yellow pollens are indications of an unhealthy plant.
- Once you purchase a poinsettia plant, immediately carry it home. Leaving the plant in cold temperature, even for a brief period, may wither it.
- Select a planting location that is neither too cold nor hot. Ensure that you protect the plant from heat sources and cold drafts.
- Keep the plant in bright and natural light at least six hours everyday. However, avoid direct contact with the afternoon sun.
- The ideal daytime temperature for a poinsettia plant to bloom is 60 to 70 degrees, whereas ideal nighttime temperature is about 55 degrees. Ensure that you regulate the temperature likewise.
- Always clip brown or withered leaves that appear at the end of the stem.
- One of the best ways to increase the plant’s life is to keep it at low temperature during the night.
- Make sure that the pot that holds the plant has proper drainage facilities.
- Check the soil regularly, and water the plant only when the soil surface is dry. Nevertheless, keep the soil moist.
- Choose a shady area for the plant, until it become accustomed to sun, or else it might get sunburns.
- If it is raining outside, make sure to keep the plant indoors, so that it does not get overly moist and become prone to diseases.
- To boost the health of the plant, sprinkle it with a light fertilizer once every month