Ask The Experts about Poinsettias!
Few plants are as iconic as the poinsettia. The eye-catching blooms are a holiday tradition around the world. But the blooms aren’t a flower at all, they’re actually the leaves, or bracts, of the plant. Poinsettia are native to Central America, and in 1825, those stunning red leaves captured the attention of the United States ambassador to Mexico. A century later, the poinsettia was brought to market as a Christmas season plant in the U.S.
Today, red is still the most popular color, making up about 80% of all the poinsettias grown. Breeders around the world are developing new varieties that offer more color choices for holiday décor. Shoppers can choose from brilliant whites, deep burgundy hues, sparkling pinks, and a number of other specialty colors.
Years ago in CA. bay area I planted one behind my folks house. A friend showed me how to trim it and pack the cut branch with mud. That plant bloomed for many years and grew quite tall.
I have a poinsettia from last Christmas. Is there any way to get their leaves to turn red again?
Unfortunately, you are too late for this Christmas. The poinsettia is a short-day plant or “photoperiodcally” induced. Short-day plants grow vegetatively during the long days of summer and produce flowers when days become shorter in fall. To get the poinsettia to flower for Christmas, the plant must receive complete darkness from 5:00 pm to 8:00 am daily from early October until the bracts develop good color, usually early December. Protect the plant from light by placing it in a closet or by covering it with a box.
I have 3 Pointsetta’s from 5 years ago given to me by people who are no longer with us. So these plants are very special to me. I just water, stir up the soil here and there and let them soak up the sun.. They keep growing and make me smile when I see them. ENJOY!
Then the plants are doing exactly what they are supposed to do – make you smile! Enjoy your plants.