In tribute to the most famous and beloved holiday plant, here are some fun facts and ways to take care of your poinsettias:
• Poinsettias were introduced into the U.S. in 1825 by Joel Poinsett.
• There are over 100 varieties of poinsettias available.
• The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think are flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves).
• The flowers, or cyathia, of the poinsettia are in the center of the colorful bracts.
• Poinsettias are not poisonous. A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50 pound child who eats 500 bracts might have a slight tummy ache.
• In nature, poinsettias are perennial flowering shrubs that can grow to 10 feet tall and are native to Mexico.
• December 12 is National Poinsettia Day.
• $220 million worth of poinsettias are sold during the holiday season.
Source: University of Illinois Extension.
MAKING YOUR POINSETTIA LAST THROUGH THE HOLIDAY SEASON
• Place the poinsettia in a sunny window; don’t let any part of it touch the window panes.
• Water only when soil is dry. Make sure to remove foil covering drain holes before watering.
• Indoor temperatures from 60-70° F are ideal for long plant life.
• Place your poinsettia in a cool room, 55-60° F at night, to extend blooming time.
• Do not fertilize when plant is in bloom.
• Avoid temperature fluctuations and warm or cold drafts.