This is a guest post by Alison McPherson of http://www.chucklefarm.com/
Poinsettia display at the US Botanic Garden.
During this time of year, I often see poinsettias dotting interior spaces, from the grocery store, to the library, to family members’ homes, to seeing them on-air during the local news. With their prevalence during the holiday season, I had never given much thought to their presence. But all of this changed when I visited the US Botanic Garden in Washington, DC on Christmas day. Upon entering the conservatory, I was greeted with beautiful poinsettia displays, from hanging baskets to potted containers, in an array of colors that gave off an air of holiday cheer.
- The poinsettia is native to the deciduous tropical forest of the Pacific coast of lower Mexico.
- The plant’s common name refers to the first Minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who sent samples of the plant back to the US in the late 1820s.
- In July of 2002, the House of Representatives established December 12th as Poinsettia Day, marking the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett.
- There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today, where red remains the most popular color.
- The part of the poinsettia that most people think of as the flower is actually colored bracts (modified leaves).
- Poinsettias remain one of the best selling potted plants in the United States and Canada.
Poinsettia hanging display at the US Botanic Garden.
- With good care, a poinsettia can last 6-8 weeks in your home – learn more aboutPoinsettia Care Instructions here.
- When selecting a poinsettia, avoid those with any signs of wilting, breaking or drooping. And select one with firm stems.
- Since poinsettias need space to flourish, be on the lookout for overcrowded store displays. This may hinder their growth and overall health.
- When you get your poinsettia home, place it in a sunny window (ideal temperature 60°-70° F).
- Water when soil is dry. Over-watering can cause root rot.