Now that we are in the month of December, many of us are adding Poinsettias to our indoor plant inventory.
The ultimate Christmas plant, Poinsettias span over 100 varieties beyond the "common red plant."
What is your Poinsettia style?
Are you a traditionalist and prefer the ubiquitous red Poinsettia commonly found at the market, or do you seek out designer varieties?
Before we begin the showcase, let's start with the proper pronunciation of the name "Pointsettia," and a little background information.
Repeat after me:
Not a big deal, but why not say it correctly?
HISTORY OF POINSETTIA
Joel Roberts Poinsett, a physician, botanist, and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico, spotted a wild Poinsettia growing in a deciduous, tropical Mexican forest in the 1820's.
(Of course, the plant wasn't called "Poinsettia" yet, as it was named after him years later).
The plant was a Euphorbia pulcherima and part of the spurge family.
Although the plant looked nothing like what we buy today (it was tall and weedy), Poinsett took cuttings and brought them back to his South Carolina home.
He gave cuttings away to friends and started distributing plants informally.
One hundred years later, Paul Ecke Jr. started the Poinsettia industry in California.
Ecke was able to cultivate a seed that grew a full, well-branched plant instead of the wild, leggy, original plant from Mexico.
Ecke was so successful that his family at the Paul Ecke Ranch in San Diego had a virtual monopoly on Poinsettia sales in the USA for almost 75 years.
Unfortunately for the Ecke family, a horticultural researcher figured out the "secret" to growing full branched Poinsettias and competitors flourished in the 1990's.
The Paul Ecke Ranch developed the most patented, named varieties of Poinsettias in the world!
In order to appreciate different Poinsettia varieties, take a good look at some of the major features.
1. Bract color, shape and texture.
"Bracts" are the colored leaves that give Poinsettias their signature look.
Bracts are not flowers. Rather, they are more like brilliantly colored "modified leaves."
The function of bracts are to attract the attention of pollinators to the Poinsettia's very small and easily overlooked flowers, called cyathia, found in the center of the bract.
The following Poinsettias all have distinct bract shape, texture and color.
The stems and flower buds are also uniquely colored.
"Visions of Grandeur"
"Visions of Grandeur" has a soft-textured bract, similar to a large rose petal.
Soft shades of pink, yellow and creme contrast with the dark, emerald green leaves.
This is a truly oppulent and luxurious Poinsettia.
One of my favorites, I can see Visions of Grandeur decorating a country or French style home.
Very romantic and pairs beautifully with winter white and some pearls!
"Winter Rose Red"
The "Winter Rose Red" Poinsettia looks exactly like its name!
The bracts on Winter Rose Red are very curvy and turgid, creating the look of a rose or geranium.
The vivid red petals form a rosette, creating a very unique Poinsettia.
"Carousel Red" Poinsettia has scalloped and wavy bract edges.
Close up of Carousel Red Poinsettia and its small, yellow flowers.
"Ice Punch" Poinsettia has a cool red bract with white highlights.
Close up of Ice Punch Poinsettia.
"Monet" is a vision of loveliness in soft peach tones.
Leaves or bracts of Monet are strong and shapely.
Instead of just placing your Poinsettia with its cellophane wrapper on the table or floor, combine it with a few complimentary house plants.
Create a vignette and use lightweight containers.
GardenStone makes gorgeous, high end planters in stone, metal, and lightweight fiberglass.
I selected the lightweight fiberglass container in a deep bronze color.
It's so much easier to move around a lightweight pot during the holidays!
Here's a smaller bronze GardenStone planter.
Beautiful quality materials.
Fooled my eyes!
1. Place in bright room but not in direct sunlight.
2. Maintain temperatures at daytime-: 65-75 degrees, nightime- 50-65 degrees.
3. Touch soil and if it feels on the dry side, water the Poinsetta. Make sure to remove or slit the decorative sleeve.
4. Place far from doors and heater drafts.
SELECTING POINSETTIA PLANTS
Look for these plant traits in a healthy Poinsettia:
–Look for the flower cluster (cycathia) and select plants with as many unopened buds as possible for longer bract display.
–Strong, sturdy stems.
–Dark green foliage (no yellow leaves)
Please watch the following video I produced and appeared in promoting a beautiful, new pink Poinsettia variety called "Princettia!"
What are your favorite Poinsettias?
Can I answer your questions?
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