Friday, December 14, 2012

Poinsettias 101

"So just how often does my poinsettia need watered?"  That's probably the most common question (and very valid, too!) posed to us this time of year.   There's two answers to that question, the long and the short.

Of course, the long answer is a little more fun!  You get the bonus of a little context and history, like knowing that the poinsettia plant is a euphorbia native to Central America.  Another common euphorbia is one of our spring staples, Diamond Frost.  Historically, the Aztecs extracted dyes from the poinsettia and used its white milk for treating fevers.  It wasn't until the early 19th century that the poinsettia was "discovered" and brought  to the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett.  (In addition to propagating and becoming the namesake for the poinsettia, Mr. Poinsett also served as a U.S. minister to Mexico, a member of the House of Representatives, and was a co-founder of the predecessor of the Smithsonian Institution.  And yes, his list of notable accomplishments continues!)

So even though we associate the poinsettia with Christmas and cold weather, it's actually a relatively drought-tolerant plant from Central America.  Of course, it does need water!  Maybe it's time for the short answer...

The short answer?  Not too often.  Water the soil well and then let the soil dry out before watering again.

Best of luck with your poinsettias!

No comments:

Post a Comment