Poinsettias for Christmas

Poinsettias for Christmas

We have all heard of the Poinsettia flower, especially at Christmas time, when it’s almost as popular as the Xmas tree itself. but not quite. This plant is so special to this festive time of the year, perhaps more so through custom and tradition, but also for the fact that there are not too many other plants about at this time of the year. We are all familiar with the custom of giving bouquets of flowers as  gifts on special occasions, birthdays and so on, but sadly around Christams time, unfortunately, there are not too many options available to us for this time of the year. In the height of winter and again depending on where we live, especially in the northern hemisphere, the Poinsettia, luckily for us, comes into flower around this time.

The stores, supermarkets, garden centres and all nursery outlets, always have stocks and stocks of this special flower for this special festive period. Some nurseries will only grow this plant and spend approx ten months of the year nurturing and caring for the Poinsettia, just to have them in ship-shape for the Christmas market. They know that they are so much in demand, so therefore their business is dedicated solely to the cultivation of this plant, as they know only too well how great a market there is going to be for them.


Poinsettias plants


The history of Poinsettias;


The plant itself is a native of Central America, especially Mexico where it is grown in the wilds, given the hot tropical climate that that country has. The Aztecs were one of the first known groups of people that discovered the special properties that this plant has to offer. They used the flowers as decorative offerings for themselves and as offerings to Poinsettia potted planttheir Gods. They sometimes used the red flowers as a dye for colouring their clothes and also as body art, while the sap of the stem was used for medicinal purposes and as a latex type food supplement. Poinsettias for Christmas, mainly come in red but occasionally there may be white blossoms, also we may find a pink hue in some of these plants.

Along with the story of the Aztecs, there is also an account of an American botanist, who was travelling through Central America and noticed these brightly coloured flowers, with lush green foilage growing wild throughout this area. He was immediately impressed with their beauty and stature, so much so that he decided there and then, he would send them back to the US for further analysis and examination. His family were physicians by trade and started to take stem cuttings and propogate these for further research and development. This persons name was J.R.Poinsett, so hence the name of this flower today as we know it, the Poinsettia. In his honour there is a special Poinsettia day in the US and this occasion is celebrated on the 12th December.


Pointsettias for Christmas

Caring for the Poinsettia;


Although in some parts they grow in the wild, but caring for this plant indoors can be a tricky exercise at times. They do not like too much heat or humidity and if they do encounter that imbalance, unfortunately, they will wither only too soon and too quickly. With great care and attention, they may last up to six months, but that instance is very rare, whereas their average life span in our homes is about six week or so. Once they have survived the Christmas period, IPoinsettia for Xmas guess it’s like the Xmas tree, as soon as the festival is over the tree is disposed of. The same would apply to the Poinsettia, it’s seen as having served it’s purpose, then we forget about it, it wilts and dies, then out into the bin it goes.

When we purchase this plant from the shops or garden centres, we see that it is in relatively good condition, so in order to keep it flowering throughout the festive holidays, we need to take certain steps. It likes plenty light, so therefore situate this flower somewhere, so that it looks out onto a southfacing aspect., ie hall, patio, balcony etc etc. I would not recommend having this plant in the kitchen, due to the fluctuation of temperatures, ie, during cooking times and so on. Water lightly if the soil starts to dry out, but do not overwater or we may run the risk of plant and flower damage or total wilting. The watering is especially important while the plant is in flower, as this exercise draws on the plants resources, so as far as maintenace is required, it’s more of an observation exercise than anything else.


Caring for Poinsettias beyond Christmas;


In order to care for our Poinsettias beyong Christmas, we need to take certain measures and great care is required for this project to materialize. As soon as the flowering has ceased and we are well into the New Year, we can now look at taking steps to have this plant moved outside. However, we still need to water and give this flower some liquid feed to sustain its longevity after Christmas. We can start by removing this plant towards the back of our house and away from direct sunlight. As soon as the leaves begin to wilt, its time to cut back the stems to about 4″ from the base. Repot if necessary by selecting a pot that’s at least 20% larger than its original and use good grade potting compost. Leave to sit, continue to water as necessary and when the days and nights warm considerably, we can now plant outside in a sunny sheltered area. This step can be considered when and only when we are guaranteed frost free nights. To be honest this exercise is more trouble than its worth, perhaps if we have time on our hands and we are keen gardeners, then we could attempt this process.


In conclusion;


Poinsettias and Christmas trees go hand in hand so to speak, there are other plants that sometimes we associate with this festive period, but for me, the aforementioned are the genisis of what Christmas is all about, coming from a gardening perspective. Holly, Ivy, Misseltoe are some other plants that we may think about. We can also buy Christmas decorations and garlands made from Poinsettia, which always add to the moment and create that festive atmosphere.

As ever, please note that we are social here at buildingraisedbeds.com and would love for people to interact and connect with us with any issues or concerns that you may have. I trust that the above information is helpful and informative for considering Poinsettias for Christams. If you would like to contact us, please do so via the comments section down below. If you would rather contact us directly, you can do so through email at;



Graphic and images courtesy of FTD.com


Poinsettia Care Guide

8 thoughts on “Poinsettias for Christmas

  1. How convenient that the Poinsettia flowers only bloom around Christmas time. I never knew for certain.

    Is this the most popular flower during Christmas time besides mistletoe? What a about the red rose? I feel that I should know these answers.

    My Aunt uses Poinsettia flowers every year at Christmas time to decorate her yard, her outfits, and her entire house. She gives them as gifts too.

    1. Hi there

      Many thanks for stopping by and also for reading the poinsettias for Christmas post, its greatly appreciated. I am glad that this post caught your eye and also that you liked what you read in this article.

      Yes, I totally agree with you in that Poinsettias are one of the great Christmas decorations and have been for ages. When we see them in the stores and garden centres, it’s really hard to pass them up, they look so attractive and are really seen as part and parcel of the festive period.

      Your aunt has good taste when she is using them for her decorations and as you also pointed out, they do make a great Christmas present.

      Thanks again for your positive comments,

      Cheers   PB

  2. Yes my aunt has very good taste indeed.

    When it comes to any type of decoration, especially during the holiday seasons, she is considered a pro. She just happens to know the best way to style herself and her surroundings for all occasions.

    I guess you can say she’s fly like that. I will tell her you said that she has “good taste.” She will blush and like you for it. Haha I’m going to forward the link to her now.

    By the way have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    1. Hi there again, flowstash.

      Many thanks for dropping by, reading all about Poinsettias for Christams and also for offering positive comments along the way.

      I totally agree with you and also your aunt, that Poinsettias are a great way to decorate our houses during the festive period. They really are the epitome of Christmas and really make the holidays more enjoyable, for sure.

      Thanks again for stopping by,

      Wishing you and yours a great Christmas and also best wishes for the New Year,

      Cheers Phil Browne

  3. Hello friend! I love the seasonally appropriate information. I have always loved poinsettas, but never knew much about them. Thanks for all the great information! I always try to keep my poinsetta after christmas but it never lasts long. I’ll try some of your tips and for sure will give it some liquid feed to help. Although… Maybe there’s something special about it being just a Christmas-time thing. 🙂

    Thanks again!

    1. Hi again,
      I appreciate you taking the time out to read this post about Poinsettias for Christmas and also for offering positive comments, it’s warmly welcomed. I too, am like yourself, I would love to keep the Poinsettias in flower long after Xmas, but unfortunately it never happens. There is some work required for this to happen and attempt to elongate their lifespan.
      I concur with your statement, in that these plants are just for Christmas and when the holidays are all over, we just want to get into the swing of a New Year and move forward.
      Many thanks again for dropping by,
      Cheers Phil Browne

  4. Hey Phil,
    I love the page, I also love the poinsettia post. I think your layout is super clean and I loved all the beautiful and bright images. I like that you are using ‘open in new tab’ social and hyper-links.
    I also like that it’s very easy for me to jump to another post or the next post. The inline images are great to help illustrate your talking points in the post.
    As I was saying and speaking of great posts, I love this account of the poinsettia. It is definitely the best flower around during the christmas time and it really makes a great show. I think you’ve done great things with this page. Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi there Mary Ann

      Many thanks for stopping by and offering positive comments on Poinsettias for Christmas, its warmly welcomed.

      I am glad that you liked what you read and also that the information is useful and helpful. I agree with you totally, poinsettias are one of the most important flowers that you could wish for at Xmas. I was shopping this morning and I noticed that my local supermarket have these in stock already and yet, there is still three weeks to go to Christmas.

      I suspect that they will be in great demand over the next few weeks as you rightly pointed out.

      Thanks again for the stopping by,

      Cheers  PB

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