|Poinsettia Euphorbia Pulcherrima 'Ruby Frost'|
Common Name: Poinsettia 'Ruby Frost'
Common Alternative: Christmas Flower
Poinsettia 'Ruby Frost'
The Poinsettia is the most popular Christmas flower with its annual sales now exceeding that of all other potted plants combined. A native of Mexico, the plant was introduced to America in 1825 by U.S. Ambassador Joel Robert Poinsett. The red flowering poinsettias are still the top sellers, but the other colors are gaining more & more in popularity. Many people mistakenly identify the plants bracts, which are modified leaves, as its flowers. The actual flowers are the small, yellow clusters (cyathia) found in the center of the bracts.
Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips
Poinsettia’s are very sensitive to the temperatures and chilling winds of winter, so be sure to ask for a sleeve when you purchase your poinsettia to help protect it from the wintry conditions found between the store and your car. Even when the plant is protected you should limit its exposure to the elements. If a poinsettia is chilled to below 50 degrees it can begin to drop leaves. At home, you want to place the plant in bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours per day. Don’t place your poinsettias near a cold draft or places of excessive heat (radiators, appliances, fireplaces) and avoid fertilizing your plant when it is in bloom. If your poinsettia has a pot cover or foil wrapper, pierce the bottom to allow proper drainage. Water when soil is dry to the touch. Do not allow your poinsettia to sit in standing water.
Many people believe the misconception that poinsettia’s are poisonous. Poinsettia’s, are absolutely not poisonous! Part of the Euphorbia family, poinsettia’s do produce a milky sap that can cause skin irritation among some and you do want to keep the plant away from small children and animals as ingestion of the plant could cause mild discomfort. If you like a challenge, poinsettias are perennial and can be kept to bloom again the next year. Many find it much easier to simply buy new the next season.