Here is an interesting fact:
The poinsettia, a member of the Euphorbia family and native to Mexico, is the number 1 potted plant sold in the United States. And, that’s over a very small 6 week window!
It is thought that Franciscan monks were the first to begin using poinsettias at the holidays to decorate nativity scenes in Taxco, Mexico. They are named for the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett who brought attention to it. National Poinsettia Day is celebrated on December 12.
What many perceive to be flowers are really the colorful bracts. While we enjoy them over the holidays, getting them to bloom again it is a challenge.
If you’re up to the task here is the routine. Cut the plant back and fertilize once per month until spring. After all danger of frost has passed poinsettias can be planted in the garden and enjoyed throughout the spring and summer.
They are photoperiodic which means they respond to day length. So, dig the plants 8-10 weeks before Christmas and place them in a location where they receive 12 hours of total darkness each day. This may be accomplished by placing a box over the plants or by placing them in a closet or unlighted basement area. Be sure they get an equal amount of daylight and darkness each day and they should be colorful and ready to enjoy by the following Christmas.
By the way, it is a myth that they are poisonous……but, don’t go eating them anyway!