Dark Red is considered a novelty type poinsttia,
offering crinkled bracts borne on strong stiff
the holidays arrive, the plant that is on the top of
everyone’s list besides the Christmas tree is the
poinsettia. It was 190 years ago in 1825 that the
first Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett,
introduced the plant to the United States.
colorful parts of a poinsettia are actually modified
leaves known as bracts. The true flowers are the small,
yellow buttons in the centers of the bracts. The
traditional color may be red but colors and varieties
today have reached staggering numbers.
I have been in the green industry a lot of years, I am
still awestruck when I walk into a greenhouse full of
poinsettias. This recently happened as I was visiting
with a local producer close to sunset, and a house full
of the Early Glory poinsettias produced that Kodak
variety Early Glory is most likely unfamiliar to you.
You are probably unaware that there are even different
named varieties. In fact at one of the recent east coast
poinsettia trials there were 212 varieties listed.
it comes to poinsettias I am like a kid in a candy
store, I love them all. The Early Glory I mentioned
immediately mesmerized me. Then in the next house it was
Carousel Dark Red. This one is considered to be a
novelty poinsettia kind of like Winter Rose. Carousel
has wavy to crinkled bracts borne on stiff sturdy
branches. It is such a dazzler we elected to use this in
our most prominent places of decoration.
was my favorite pink variety, then the light pink
Visions of Grandeur came out and I thought that was the
prettiest poinsettia ever. Next, the Punch series caught
my eye and I said to myself, "I will always have to
have Ice Punch," with such a breathtaking
variegation of red and white I thought it must be the
perfect Christmas plant.
you see the dilemma both for me and for greenhouse
producers. There is just no way one could grow them all.
What is important is that you shop for poinsettias now.
Poinsettias can hold their color way past Christmas if
you shop wisely. Look for plants with fully mature,
thoroughly colored and expanded bracts, and small green
flower buds. Select plants with dark green foliage down
to the soil line. This indicates a healthy root system.
plants with damaged or discolored foliage and select
symmetrical plants in proportion to their containers. As
a rule of thumb, poinsettias should be 2 1/2 times
bigger than their pots. In other words, a 15- to
18-inch-tall plant looks best in a 6-inch container.
plants promise weeks of enjoyment. Look for strong,
stiff stems, good leaf and bract retention, and no signs
of wilting, breaking or drooping. Carefully inspect
packaged poinsettias before purchasing them. Poinsettias
left in sleeves for an extended period of time may
become unhealthy. The problem most often encountered
with poinsettias centers around watering. With the busy
holiday season, forgetting to water can be disastrous
for a poinsettia. Feel the soil and water when it is dry
to the touch.
for poinsettias this year will be more fun than ever.
You’ll want to get several for the various rooms in
your home and as gifts for your friends and family.