In honor of National Poinsettia Day on Monday, December 12, the garden experts at Pike Nurseries reveal fun facts –to debunk the myths– and fresh care tips to ensure these Christmas centerpieces stay fresh and thriving throughout the season.
- Myth Buster: Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettias are not poisonous to humans or animals. The plant’s toxicity level is very mild. Ingestion can cause slight irritation, but the average person would need to consume hundreds of Poinsettia leaves to develop a severe problem.
- History Lesson: This Christmas classic is native to Mexico and was first used for medicinal purposes, as well as to make dye. It was first introduced in the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, who discovered the ruby red-bloomed plant.
- Flower Power: Poinsettia color actually comes from the leaves – not the flower! The flower is the small yellow blossom in the center of the colored bracts.
While red remains the most popular, there are ample Poinsettia colors available. Other varietals, including the rosy pink ‘Early Twilight’, the brand-new ‘Gold Rush’ and lime-green ‘Envy,’ can bring a unique element to traditional Christmas décor. For customers unsure of which variety to choose, Pike Nurseries’ Poinsettia Personality Quiz is a fun way to find out the Poinsettia that best fits their personality. A few of the varieties offered by Pike Nurseries include:
- Chianti: This stunning variety offers rich wine-colored bracts with dark green foliage.
- Early Twilight: Offering vibrant, rosy pink bracts with specks of pink, this variety adds interest and dimension.
- Envy: This one-of-a-kind Poinsettia has lime-green bracts that pair well with rustic or contemporary styles, making it the “envy” of everyone’s eye.
- Gold Rush: The only true gold-colored Poinsettia, ‘Gold Rush,’ is stunning solo or grouped with classic red varieties.
- Ice Crystals: As remarkable as the name, ‘Ice Crystals’ bracts are cream down the middle, shimmering into pink.
- Jingle Bells: Festive like its name, ‘Jingle Bells’ has red bracts speckled with crisp white coloring.
- Red Glitter: This Poinsettia’s red bracts have flecks of cream that look like a light dusting of snow.
- Ruby Frost: An eye-catching color with white and red veins, this Poinsettia gives the appearance of rose and pink.
- Princettia® Max White: This Poinsettia is pure white with smaller, more abundant bracts for added texture.
- Winter Red Rose: A traditional Poinsettia with a new twist, the Winter Red Rose is an upright poinsettia with ruffled red bracts. It’s often referred to as the “flower at the top.”
In addition to being beautiful, Poinsettias are also easy to maintain. Pike Nurseries offers care tips to help keep these plants fresh and vibrant all season long.
- Avoid overwatering: Poinsettias should not be placed in standing water in order to avoid foliage loss; instead, they should be removed from any decorative pot cover and watered in a sink when the soil feels dry, allowing the water to drain completely. A saucer is great to capture run-off water.
- Maintain the correct temperature: Poinsettias thrive with indoor temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees. Additionally, they should be kept away from direct sources of heat or cold like vents or drafty areas like an outside door.
- Use abundant light: Poinsettias need abundant, indirect light during the day and 12 hours of darkness at night for their brightest colors to shine. If direct sun hits them through a window, diffuse the light with a shade or sheer curtain to maintain their vibrancy.
For more information about Pike Nurseries’ Poinsettias, stop by one of the 17 store locations across Georgia and North Carolina, or visit pikenursery.com/poinsettias.