Poinsettias are the highest selling flower in the U.S. with 34 million pieces sold every year for an estimated $144 million. To put things into perspective, the second most popular plant is Easter Lilies, whose turnover is around $22 million.
The holiday seasons, especially the Christmas holidays, see the highest Poinsettia tips and it’s not hard to see why. Holiday decorations are just not enough without the red luster these beauties produce. And contrary to popular belief, Poinsettias are not hard to care for – just follow the following tips and you can keep your festive flowers glowing through the holidays.
A Brief History of Poinsettias
Poinsettias are thought to have originated in Central America, particularly the areas around Mexico and Guatemala, where the native Aztecs used them for medicinal and aesthetic purposes. Their majestic red color endeared them with the Aztecs, who consider the color red as a symbol of purity.
Even long after the Aztec civilization fell, poinsettias are still known as “Flower of the Holy Night” in Mexico. Their more modern, and common name, however, is derived from Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the American botanist who introduced them to the U.S. in 1928.
Caring for Poinsettias: Top Tips and Tricks
Know Your Flowers
The best aspect of poinsettias is not their flowers, but their colorful leaves. In most cases, the leaves are red, but more modern varieties come in a range of colors, such as pink, salmon, cream, and even white. Knowing how the different types of flowers look when healthy will help you get the right flowers and puts you in a great position to tell when something is wrong.
For your poinsettias to stay in top shape through the festivities, they have to leave the store in pristine condition. To this effect, don’t just look at the flowers themselves but also pay attention to where they are stored in the shop or nursery. Flowers stored near doors are risky buys as they have been exposed to the elements.
Whether to keep your poinsettias indoors or outdoors depends on where you live, and how the weather’s like. But generally, poinsettias are warm-weather plants and do well in temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This basically means that you can’t keep them outside during the Christmas holidays where they stand to wilt and probably die from the extreme drops in temperatures, especially at night.
Keep Them Watered
Poinsettias don’t require much water to thrive but don’t be too complacent. Keep an eye on the soil and the leaves. If the soil seems dry and the leaves are starting to droop, it’s time to water your festive beauties.
Notably, while it is recommended to always keep the soil under your poinsettias moist, it is counterproductive to use too much water. Leaving your flowers in still water can cause them to start rotting, which is probably not what you want.
Avoid Too Much Light
Poinsettias don’t do well when exposed to too much light, which means you should reconsider placing them outdoors if you live in a place that experiences strong daylight for more than 10 hours a day. If you really can’t avoid keeping them outdoors, be sure to take them inside, preferably to a dark room, after 5 p.m.
And that’s about it! See how easy it is to keep your poinsettias fresh, healthy, and lush through the holidays and even beyond? This leads us to the next question…
How Long Do Poinsettias Last?
Poinsettias are remarkably durable and often re-bloom in the next season, provided they are well taken care of. This involves adequate watering, limited exposure to light, and protection from pests and diseases. If you put in the work, your poinsettias will most likely outlast your desire for them.
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