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December Plant of the Month: Poinsettia

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Native to southern Mexico, this holiday harbinger came onto the season’s scene in 1828. Since then, it has become the highest-selling potted plant in history! Its “blooms” are actually modified colorful leaves called bracts, while its true flowers are yellow buds clustered in its center. 

spray bottleGROWING TIPS:

Place poinsettias near natural light inside a room about 60 to 70 degrees F. Avoid drafts, as these beauties are native to warmer climes. Keep soil moist but not soggy, and water when the soil begins to dry. If leaves wilt too much, it’s too late.

 

Fun Facts:

  • Many plants in the Euphorbiaceae family ooze a milky sap. Some people with latex allergies have had skin reactions—most likely to the sap—after touching the leaves. For pets, the poinsettia sap can cause mild irritation or nausea. The best approach is to keep pets away from the plant, especially puppies and kittens.
  • The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are colored “bracts,” otherwise known as modified or specialized leaves.
  • Because of their red color, poinsettias have been called the lobster flower and the flame-leaf flower.
  • In Mexico, the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10 to 15 feet tall.
  • There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today. Poinsettias come in colors like red, white, pink, burgundy, yellow, apricot, marbled and speckled.
  • Marvin's has poinsettias on sale all month for $19.99!

Source: Morning Ag Clips

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