A holiday favorite  is the poinsettia plant.  There are a beautiful variety of colors available that make a perfect touch for any home. Besides there beauty are some interesting facts about Poinsettias.

This plant, which is very popular during the Christmas time, is native to Central America and Mexico. In nature it grows shrub-like and can be up to 4 meters high. The large mostly red leaves – called bracts – are not really the flowers of the plant, but the little green-yellow leaves in the center of the bracts are the true flowers. Because the flowers are very small and inconspicuous, the bracts ensure that insects are attracted to the plant.

When purchasing a Poinsettia, make sure to check that the bracts of the plant are not fully green. Bracts are the colorful part of the poinsettia plant. The leaves on the rest of the plant should be a vibrant green. Avoid plants with pale or yellowing leaves for this is a sign of an unhealthy plant.

When taking care of Poinsettias it is important that they get plenty of sunshine. It is best to put them in the sunniest spot of your house to ensure that they get plenty of light and warmth, however, too much heat is not good either. If the plant becomes too hot it will dehydrate. Poinsettias do not need an abundance of water to survive. Too much water will kill the plant. It is best to only water in areas that are dry to touch.

If you kept your old plant alive from last year AND you want those beautiful flowers to bloom by Christmas, there are a few things you can do to help the plant along. The poinsettia is a short-day plant and flowers only when it gets less than

12 hours a day of sunlight. Therefore, the poinsettia should be in complete darkness at night from October to mid-December.  For example from 4PM to 8 AM you can set the poinsettia in a dark area where it will receive no light. The short light phases and conditions encourage the plant to form flowers. After six weeks the bracts should begin coloring up, then you can stop putting them in the dark.  By the Christmas season your poinsettia can again blossom in full bloom.

And if you are looking for a Quality poinsettia plant, make sure to call my Uncle Bob @ 914-476-6300 and ask him to send a few over to your house to compliment your holiday decorations!  My family has been growing poinsettias for just about 100 years now.

Happy Holidays!