Scientific name: Euphorbia Pulcherrima
Other common names: Christmas star, Christmas flower, Christmas plant, “Bent El Konsol” in Arabic
Poinsettia is native to Central America. Popularly known as Christmas Flower or Christmas Plant. At Christmas time, the top green leaves of Poinsettia change their original color into red, pink or white. These leaves are falsely knowns as “flowers”, while the real flowers are the small yellow ones at the center. In their natural environment, Poinsettias change their colors in late January to February. But to be sold commercially as Christmas flowers, they undergo certain hormonal treatments by the growers; to force the plant to “flower” before their season.
Poinsettia are commonly hyped and exaggerated as poisonous plants, though they rarely are. You should be careful if you have kids or pets not to munch on these plants, since they contain, a white milky sap, that can cause harm.
Poinsettias need good natural lighting. Direct sun or drafts not being appreciated by these plants. Most people like to decorate their homes at this period of time, by placing them anywhere, as part of Christmas decorations, not considering the plants demands. While you have to keep them as close as possible to the windows.
Winter warm room temperatures are ideal for these plants (18C-25C). Keep them away from heaters.
Keep the compost moist but not wet. Check the water in the soil by poking your finger 2-3 cm deep.
Feed every 2 weeks until the plant does not produce any new leaves, going dormant.
After Christmas is over, new green leaves will appear and the colored ones will drop off, including the yellow flowers. Most people discard the plants at this stage, thinking that they are dying. Do not give up, keep the plants in their same position until the following year, since this is a natural phenomenon. Another solution would be to plant them outdoors in a garden; helping them grow to an amazing 1.5m high the following year.
Varieties of Poinsettia available in store