Poinsettia: The Christmas star

poinsettia poinsettia

Poinsettia: The Christmas star

Poinsettia also called Christmas star (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is an ornamental plant native to Mexico. This perennial is typically grown as an annual and grows very fast. In nature the plant can grow up to 4 and a half meters.
Its leaves are medium in size in some varieties they are smooth in others they are curled or double.
As for the definition, the poinsettia is not really a flower, but rather a plant with colored tips, red, white, yellow or pink.
The name poinsettia comes from the American Ambassador to Mexico Joel Roberts Poinsett , who introduced the plant to the United States in 1825.

Poinsettia, cultivation and care

When you buy and are given a poinsettia as a gift, the first thing to do is to eliminate the transparent paper that wraps it, this paper steals light and increases the risk of water stagnation and diseases.

The ideal environment for poinsettia

The poinsettia needs a bright place away from drafts to prevent leaves from falling.
It bears well temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees C ° , but to keep its flowering longer it is better to keep it at temperatures between 16 and 18 degrees C °.
It should be placed away from fireplaces, stoves and radiators to avoid damage caused by thermal changes.

How to water the poinsettia

The poinsettia needs little water but the soil must never be completely dry. Pay particular attention to stagnant water in the saucer, remember to empty it after about ten minutes from watering and not to wet the leaves directly.

Origin of the Poinsettia tradition as a Christmas flower

The poinsettia Christmas tradition is inspired by a Mexican folklore story in which a little girl named Pepita had no gift to bring to baby Jesus during the Christmas Eve ceremony. Her cousin Pedro tried to console her, telling her that even a little thought would be enough; so Pepita picked up some twigs from a plant that grew near the church. When he went up to the altar to offer his composition, these twigs turned into the red flower we know today. For this reason, in Spanish-speaking countries, the poinsettia is called “Flores de Noche Buena” which means flower of the holy night.

Poinsettia adds that extra touch to home Christmas decorations and definitely deserves the place of best Christmas flower.

Also ideal as a gift, among the many meanings it symbolizes joy, love, purity and hope.