Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first Ambassador to Mexico and an amateur botanist, was enamored by a brilliantly colored flowering plant he saw growing on one of his trips to Mexico. He transported the plant back to home in South Carolina, and began to distribute the unique star-shaped flowers as gifts. Years later, the beautiful poinsettia plant, named after its benefactor, is one of the most recognizable and popular symbols of the holiday season. Native to Mexico and Central America, poinsettias have become an American tradition, selling over 63 million plants annually. They even have their own holiday – December 12th is national Poinsettia Day.
The vivid colors of the poinsettia are actually not petals; they are leaves, or bracts. The red – or white – varieties are most commonly seen this time of year, but poinsettias can also be found in yellow and pinks. In the proper natural environment, the poinsettia can grow to 10-12 feet tall; but most of us simply know them in their potted form.
Given that poinsettias are highly sensitive to cold and frost, they do require some special handing from florist to home.
- Wrap the plant well for the trip from the store to the car. Even very short exposure to cold and winds can cause the plant to wither.
- Once home, keep the plants in a sunny room, ideally between 60 and 70 degrees. They will not fare well in drafty rooms, or spaces susceptible to blasts of heat from appliances or heating elements.
- Water well, then let the soil dry. Over-watering, or letting the plant sit in standing water, will cause its roots to rot. If a plant begins to look a little dry, watering should bring it right back to life.
Poinsettias are the perfect festive gift for anyone’s home or office – and they make for traditional and beautiful Christmas décor. Purchasing your poinsettia from Rose Hill Flowers ensures that you will be receiving the healthiest plant possible, ready to grow and thrive in its new home. For these and other holiday floral arrangements, call Rebel Hill or browse our online Holiday Guide. We look forward to helping you celebrate with classic holiday spirit!