Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima - is well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays. It derives its common English name from Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico who introduced the plant to the US in 1825.
Common name : Poinsettia
Scientific name : Euphorbia pulcherrima
Family : Euphorbiaceae
Category : Indoor
Type of plant : Perennial
Euphorbia pulcherrima is a shrub reaching a height of 0.6–4 metres (2–13 ft) in its origin habitat, but kept indoors it will stay well under 1 meter (3 ft). The plant bears dark green dentate leaves, the colored bracts—which are most often flaming red but can be orange, pale green, white, or even marble, are often mistaken for flower petals because of their groupings and colors, but are actually leaves. The colors of the bracts are created through photoperiodism, meaning that they require darkness - 12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row - to change color. The plant requires abundant light during the day for the brightest color.
Good to know : to produce extra axillary buds that are necessary for plants containing multiple flowers, a phytoplasma infection—whose symptoms include the proliferation of axillary buds—is used in commercially distributed plants. Not sure we like that.
Sowing & planting
30 - 60
Identify my poinsettia
In its environment of origin the poinsettia is a shrub of several meters, but inside it stagnates rather at 50 cm of height.
Its central leaves - the bracts, technically - are very colorful, most often red, sometimes pink, yellow or green. The basal leaves remain green. All are organized alternately and have an acute elliptical shape.
Plant my poinsettia
As a savannah and rainforest plant, your poinsettia will enjoy being planted in a mix of dry compost with soil and sand.
Choose a container of at least 3 liters and put clay balls at the bottom. Soak the mound for a moment and then place your poinsettia in the tray.
Add your soil-heath mix to cover all the roots. If necessary, lift the plant to adjust its height. Avoid watering with tap water if it is very calcareous.
Place your gardenia in the light, not too close to a radiator.
Water my poinsettia
Poinsettia does not like excessive moisture, but needs to be watered often. As soon as the top of the soil becomes dry, water it to moisten it in depth but do not leave water in the dish.
During the growing period water about twice a week but in a measured way, to not asphyxiate the of the plant roots.
After flowering, gently space the waterings, until twice a month.
Prune my poinsettia
After flowering, trim the ends of the stems, this will induce your poinsettia to bloom again in autumn.
Repot my poinsettia
Repot each year after flowering, in April, in a slightly larger pot, in a mixture of soil, sand and compost.