It’s the Christmas Season! The most wonderful time of the year!

All this month, The Blooming Blog will be spotlighting some of the popular flowers and plant ornaments we have here at SuEllen’s Floral Company.

Today, our Christmas Spotlight is on the poinsettia. This vibrant red festive plant is the perfect decoration to Christmas-tize your home, office, or home office.

Native to Central America, the poinsettia’s connection to the Christmas season comes from a 16th Century Mexican legend.

According to the tale, a young girl was too poor to give Jesus a gift for His birthday, and was told by an angel to gather weeds from the side of the road and put them at the church altar. When she did, crimson pedals bloomed, thus creating the miraculous poinsettia, or flor de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve flower, Flower of the Good Night) in Latin America. The star pattern of the pedals symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem, and the crimson red symbolize the Blood of Christ.

Poinsettias

However, evidence suggests that the poinsettia actually originated with the Aztecs, who cultivated it to produce red eye as well as utilizing small dosages to cure fevers. Though some believe poinsettia leaves are poisonous, poinsettia is non-lethal though can cause digestive symbols when consumed, so doing so is still not recommended.

The name of the plant came from a diplomat, Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsett served as the first US Ambassador to Mexico and future Secretary of War (the equivalent to today’s Defense Secretary). Secretary Poinsett popularized the plant in 1820s.

Wild poinsettias grow in Mexico and Guatemala in high elevations and their locations are fragmented due in part to unregulated deforestation. The poinsettias grown in the Mexican State of Guerrero are thought to be the ancestors of most cultivated poinsettias today.

Every year, approximately 70 million poinsettias are sold during the six-week Christmas season, many grown by the Ecke Family.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR POINSETTIAS

  1. Poinsettias are easy to care for as long as you water them. DO NOT let your poinsettias sit in water.
  2. Avoid direct sunlight. Poinsettias like bright but diffused sun exposure.
  3. Poinsettias prefer warm areas, but much like Goldilocks, it has to be just right…not too hot, not too cold.
  4. Avoid drafts. Poinsettias don’t like getting chilly!
  5. Place a dish under the poinsettia to protect furniture from water seepage.
  6. If you brake off a flower or leaf you may see a sticky milky sap. Dispose of the sap immediately and keep out of the reach of pets and young children.
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