Some of us are not very good with houseplants. In fact, some of us find keeping a Spider Plant alive a bit of a challenge. I am proud to say, though, that I have a Poinsettia which I have managed to keep alive for nearly 3 years.
|Poinsettias come in a variety of colours|
So I was a little miffed to hear claims in a recent report from Thompson & Morgan claiming Poinsettias have fallen out of fashion in the UK.
This 12th December has been declared International Poinsettia Day and, Stars For Europe (SfE), a marketing initiative founded by a coalition of European Poinsettia breeders are striking back.
They say that sales of this classic Christmas plant, which comes in white, coral and ‘spattered’ colours as well as the traditional red, saw a 15% increase in UK sales last year.
If you follow a few of Stars For Europe’s care guidelines (#1 remember they HATE cold and draughts so keep away from doors and windows) then they should last until Christmas, and after that, just chuck it away or, if it’s like mine see how many Christmases you can make it last for.
|The Traditional Red Poinsettia Is THE Christmas plant|
How to Care for your Poinsettia (from Stars For Europe)
* Inspect before buying. Dense foliage and yellow-green flower buds are a sign of freshness. Don’t take any standing in breezy entrance areas.
* Keep them in a bright, warm spot (around 20° C). They can even be close to a radiator, but not in direct sunlight or near draughts – so keep away from open doors and windows.
* Don’t over-water them by leaving a pool of water in bottom of the pot or saucer they’re sitting in. Only water when the soil is almost dry (preferably with lukewarm water).
* To keep your poinsettia going long after the festive season, do not fertilize during its flowering period. Afterwards, fertilize monthly using conventional nutrients.
* To produce colourful leaves for years to come, keep the plant in complete darkness for at least twelve hours per day for several weeks.
Did you know that Poinsettias got their name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the man who introduced them to the US in 1828.
Poinsettia Day is 12 December, commemorating the death of Poinsett on 12 December 1851.
Poinsettias originate from Mexico and have been associated with Christmas since the 16th century.
Poinsettias are not just red! You can get them in cream, pink and vintage apricot.
Poinsettias make great cut flowers. Immerse the stems in hot water for 20 seconds and they’re good to go!
Poinsettias are grown in black-out conditions for days so that they develop their colourful leaves.
I’m off to put my Poinsettia in a dark place to see if I can get the leaves to change colour……