Poinsettia Plants: Major Varieties, Caring Tips, And Facts

Red Poinsettia plant

The Poinsettia plant is a well-known plant species native to Mexico and Central America and belongs to the Euphorbia family. The plant is very famous due to its colorful green and red foliage, making it a perfect decorative plant for Christmas. Euphorbia pulcherrima is the poinsettia common name or the botanical name. After getting matured the plant attains a height of 3-10 ft and grows around 3–7 ft. wide. The plant however native to Mexico is sold majorly in the UK and Canada during the Christmas season.

Read Poinsettia plant

Although the basic red coloured Poinsettia plant is the best selling plant of all time, breeders have taken a keen interest in developing more varieties and colors. The plant is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett who was the first US minister to Mexico. They bloom in the wintertime and they need well-drained but acidic soil and are considered quick growers. The flower color can be seen in various hues, including Red, yellow, white, and pink.

Famous Poinsettia Plants varieties by colors

A lot of poinsettia color varieties makes it hard for the users to choose from but here are some major color options that are most popular.

  • Classic Red: You can easily imagine how this plant may look after hearing out its name, the classic red poinsettia has bright red color petals with classic green leaves and a greenish-yellow hue of the flowers in between which makes it perfect for the holiday season.
  • Classic White: Classic white poinsettia has a crown with creamy white to yellowish shade. Beneath the crown lies the dark green leaves and the plant holds the leaves in an upright position. This plant is good for warm climates and is available in the middle of the holiday season.  
  • Ice Punch: The Ice Punch poinsettia is quite different from its name and it can tolerate heat very well. The bracts of the ice punch are wavy from the margins with pointed dark green leaves beneath. The plant with ruddy colored bracts and white blazes is available early in the holiday season.
  • Jingle Bells: The traditional plant of Christmas, jingle bell poinsettia is available from the early holiday season. The crimson-colored bracts with white flecks or an occasional all white bract make it ideal for decoration purposes during Christmas time. 
  • Candy Wintergreen: Candy Wintergreen poinsettia has a bright refreshing lime-green color. The plant has upright growth and holds its bracts distant. The plant has dark green foliage and it is available in mid-season.

Poinsettia Plant Caring Tips:

The poinsettia plant is a very well accepted decoration plant and it is very popular on occasions like Christmas and other festivals. There are several poinsettia plant care tips that you may consider for the prolonged growth of your plant. While you care for your plant some situations may hamper the growth of the plant. Some situations are mentioned below with their cures.

Why are the leaves not turning red?

If you feel poinsettia leaves not turning red and to restore the original condition you can keep the plant in complete darkness at night and give it bright light during the daytime. Even a small lamp light can be a hindrance and it will not allow the leaves to turn red.

Why do the leaves fall from the poinsettia plant?

When you see poinsettia leaves falling off or poinsettia leaves drying out, it’s an indication that the plant is not in favourable conditions. A sudden change in temperature or placing it in over-cooled or dry rooms with low watering sessions will make the leaves fall off. 

Why do the leaves droop or curl?

If you see poinsettia leaves drooping, it’s due to over excess water, underwater, low moisture in the soil or low humidity. To reduce the poinsettia leaves curling and drooping you should put them in bright indirect light and water them but let the soil soak the water and water only when the soil looks dry. Provide adequate humidity around the plant.

Why do the leaves turn yellow or black?

The major reason behind poinsettia leaves turning yellow could be nutrients deficiency in the soil. Make sure that you provide it with proper water, sunlight and fertilizer to avoid such conditions. However, if you see poinsettia leaves turning black, the major issues could be bacterial or fungal infection. Use the fungicidal spray or copper-based fungicides and isolate your plant to restore its health of the plant.

Also read: Lipstick Plant: Complete Guide about Care & Propagation

Poinsettia Plant Interesting facts:

  • Do not mistake those big leaves on the upper side to be flowers, they have modified leaves called bracts and the dark green foliage lies beneath those bracts.
  • They are not poisonous but ingesting them may cause mild diarrhoea, vomming, eye irritation and skin issues due to the sap.
  • December 12 is celebrated as “The poinsettia day”, Dr Joel Roberts Poinsett diest on this date in 1851.
  • They are actually tropical trees that grow around12 feet tall in the wild but breeders have bred them to bloom for a long time while having short height for offices and homes.

Myths about poinsettia poisonous

  • Poinsettia poisonous to Humans: There was a belief that poinsettia is poisonous to humans but some recent studies have shown that although they are not life-threatening but can cause some issues like vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache and the sap can cause skin irritation, redness or swelling
  • Poinsettia poisonous to Pets: Place the plant far from the reach of your pets as if the plant is ingested by your pets, you may have to call the vet to look into the matter. If you think Poinsettia is poisonous to dogs or cats then it is not true but your pet will develop mild symptoms like vomiting and drooling.

Some Important and useful Tips:

  • Buying poinsettia Plants: While buying the poinsettia plants, take a look at the surrounding where it is kept. If the plant is kept under windy conditions where temperatures go below 12 degrees celsius, the plant will start prematurely dropping leaves once brought home. To identify a healthy poinsettia plant, take a look at its flower and bracts. The bracts will be intact and the yellow flower looks tight in the middle. Make sure the soil is not too dry and not too wet when you are buying and once you take the plant home, wrap it with paper to protect it from draughts and temperatures below 12 degrees celsius. 
  • Watering to poinsettia plants: Poinsettia plants do not need much water and overwatering can lead to the dropping of leaves or you may see them turning yellow. Avoid waterlogging and inspect the color of leaves every day. Only water your poinsettia plant when the soil is noticeably dry and water it after 2-3 days only. Lift the plant, if it feels light then it’s time to hydrate them. Mini poinsettia needs regular checks as they dry out faster. If you are still in doubt, keep them a little dry as the poinsettia plant life span is good but you need to fertilize them in a week for 3-4 weeks after purchase.
  • The right temperature for poinsettias: Poinsettias love warmth and light and an ideal temperature between 15 to 22 degrees celsius makes them a perfect indoor plant. During wintertime, place them near a south-facing window t so that they get enough light and warmth. The plant needs to be saved from draughty conditions as they may start dropping leaves if exposed to draughts. 

FAQs about Poinsettias Plants

What kind of soil do poinsettia plants need?

You need well-drained, loamy, peat-based soil for good growth.

Q2: What is the best place to plant poinsettia plants at home? 

The plant should be kept in a bright location in the daytime but receives no artificial light during the night. A south-facing window is best suited for the plant.

Q3: How many hours of light is enough for a poinsettia plant?

Keep it under bright but indirect light for a minimum of six hours every day.

By Greenkosh