Poinsettia – Georama Growers Plant of the Week

December 19, 2013 Case Uncategorized

Common Name:      Poinsettia

Botanical Name:      Euphorbia pulcherrima

November 25 006This being the last week before Christmas what better plant to talk about than the Poinsettia (after all ‘tis the Season) Let’s begin with a little history and a legend or two. Poinsettias are native to Mexico, and the Aztecs called them ‘Cuetlaxochitl’ meaning ‘flower that grows in residues of soil’. Today the plant is known in Mexico as ‘La Flor de la Nochebuena’ (Flower of the Holy Night) Poinsettias received their name in the United States in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced them into the country in 1828. Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first US Ambassador to Mexico. In Mexico the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that grows up to 15 feet tall! Here in Canada they are all grown in greenhouses starting in early July, and ready for sale just after Remembrance Day. There are now more than 100 different varieties – from the traditional red to white, pink, burgundy, marbled, speckled and more. The showy coloured parts of Poinsettias that most people think of as flowers are actually modified leaves called bracts. The flowers are actually yellow and are found in the centre of the bracts, for the longest lasting Poinsettias choose plants with little or no yellow pollen showing. Poinsettias are not poisonous, this idea started in 1919 with an urban myth that a two-year old child died from eating poinsettia leaves. Research has shown that a 50 pound child would have to eat at least 500 leaves to reach a potentially toxic dose. Here at our greenhouse facility in Nelson we grow about 10,000 plants for the local market and ship them even in the coldest of December Days, so here are some tips for you to get the best results: Take your plant home in a warm car immediately, don’t leave it in a cold car while continuing your shopping. Make sure your plant is well wrapped, to avoid a cold shock. Keep your Poinsettia in a room with at least 20 C temperature, in a bright location. Keep it away from hot or cold drafts, and do not overwater – let it dry out somewhat before re-watering and remove the foil from the pot so that the water can drain out!

From our Family to Yours –  Merry Christmas

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