Facts & Myths about this beautiful plant …



The poinsettia is probably the most iconic plant for Christmas. The poinsettia was used for centuries in its native range in Mexico as a flower for celebrations and its leaves for red dyes. Its migration to America began in the 1820’s. Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett was named the first ambassador to Mexico from the United States. He discovered the brightly colored plant along a roadside growing wild. He returned to South Carolina with plants and began
cultivating them in his greenhouse. They were named in his honor in 1836.

The poinsettia is a relatively easy plant to maintain through Christmas and beyond. When you bring a poinsettia home it is basically finished growing. To keep it looking good we want to keep everything even. It likes bright light but doesn’t need direct sunlight. It should be kept at average household temperature of 60° – 70°. Cold windows and drafty entries should be avoided. Since it is grown it does not require fertilizing. Poinsettias do not like wet feet. It is important not to let it stand in water. Be sure to check the foil or saucer for standing water. It is best to allow the surface of the soil to feel dry and then give it a drink. Smaller more regular watering will keep it healthy. The most common loss of poinsettias is due to cold, wet soil.

My last topic is to address the myth that poinsettias are poisonous. This is a complete myth. There are absolutely no confirmed fatalities from the poinsettia. Yes, there is a mild toxin in the leaves. However, a 50 pound child would have to ingest over 500 leaves at one sitting to receive a toxic dose. The unpleasant taste will cause nausea or vomiting from eating a non-food item  before poisoning can occur. This is also true with pets. They are not likely to show any symptoms other than drooling or vomiting common to injesting other non-food plants. Other holiday plants such as holly or mistletoe should be watched much more carefully than poinsettias.

“The poinsettia is a relatively easy plant to maintain through Christmas and beyond.”

Hopefully these tips will help you enjoy your poinsettia for a long time. Other questions can be e-mailed to me at retail@stutzmans.com.

Merry Christmas,


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