Happy National Poinsettia Day!
The iconic plant is mostly associated with Christmas. The legend is two young girls were on their way to church to honor the birth of Jesus. Unable to buy a gift, they picked wildflowers on their way. When laid upon the altar, the ordinary flowers transformed into poinsettias. They became known as “Flores de Noche Buena” or Flowers of the Holy Night.
- Named after Joel Roberts Poinsett who discovered the plant in 1828 growing alongside a road in Mexico. In the 1900s the Ecke family grew poinsettias in southern California for use as landscape plants and as a cut flower. December 12th commemorates his death.
- The colorful “flowers” are actually called bracts (modified leaves).
- They are perennials and can last for many years (this takes skill).
How to Select & Care for Poinsettias
- Make sure the plant’s leaves are full and deep green.
- Check for signs of disease and unwanted pests.
- Remove decorative wrapping allowing the soil to properly drain.
- Place the plant in a sunny window out of reach of pets. The plant can be harmful to pets if ingested.
- Enjoy the festive holiday colors poinsettias bring to your home!