No flower says Merry Christmas better than the iconic poinsettias.
History of Poinsettia
The popular Christmas flower got its name from Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, a botanist, a physician, and the first ever US Ambassador to Mexico. Poinsett brought the flower to the United States in 1828 by sending cuttings of the plant he had discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina. December 12th is Poinsettia Day, which marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1851.
Poinsettia Names Throughout The World
Botanically known as the Euphorbia pulcherrima, which translates to “the most beautiful Euphorbia, the lovely poinsettia also goes by many other names, including:
- The lobster flower
- The flame-leaf flower
- The Crown of the Andes in Chile and Peru
- “La Flor de la Nochebuena,” or Flower of the Holy Night, or Christmas Eve in Mexico and Guatemala
In Spain, however, it is known as the "Flor de Pascua" or "Easter flower,” instead of Christmas.
Popular Poinsettia Varieties
According to the University of Illinois Extension, there are over 100 varieties of poinsettias available today. The state of California is noted as the highest producer of the poinsettia flower in all of the country.
Some of the most popular poinsettia varieties available in the market are:
- Premium Picasso
- Monet Twilight
Poinsettia comes in a wide array of gorgeous colors, including the traditional red, white, pink, burgundy, marbled, and speckled. Red poinsettias were actually green at first. Experts say the color change takes at least eight weeks. Prestige Red is one of the most bestselling hybrids of the poinsettia flower.
How To Take Care of Your Poinsettia Plant
While many florists offer Christmas-themed flower arrangements featuring poinsettias, a potted poinsettia plant, which with proper care may last you until March, is more practical and rewarding for the inner gardener in you too.
Here are a few tips to make your poinsettia plant last longer:
- Poinsettias like it warm. Put them near windows, but away from direct sunlight.
- Make sure their leaves or petals don’t touch cold windows, as it can cause wilting.
- Do not overwater, but keep the soil moist.
- Do not fertilize while poinsettias are still in bloom. Only after the holiday.
If you notice your poinsettia plant turning yellow or dropping to the floor when you get home from the flower shop or a couple of hours after it’s delivered, there’s no need to worry. The poinsettia is only adjusting to its new environment.
Fill your home with pretty poinsettia flowers and feel the Christmas cheer take over. While you’re at it, check out our new Christmas Collection for more Yuletide-themed flower arrangements.