Origins of the poinsettia
The poinsettia in botany is called euphorbia pulcherrima, because it is a member of the euphorbiaceae family. Initially, however, it was called poinsettia, in honor of the first American general who reigned in Mexico, the country of origin of this plant. Today, in many parts of the world, it is still called that. In our latitudes, this plant is mainly grown in pots and remains small, but in fact in Central America it grows like an imposing shrub or even a tree over three meters high. This species usually has many branches and many fine and semi-woody stems of a very intense green; the leaves are darker green, pointed; at the top of the stems in winter is born the beautiful flower of the poinsettia. In fact, what we call a flower is a set of bracts,
Over time, the flower of Euphorbia pulcherrima has been associated with Christmas celebrations, probably because the flowers bloom in winter, or because the inflorescences consist of bright red bracts and are star-shaped. It is precisely in December that this plant is the most sold: people usually buy several copies to give as gifts or to decorate their apartment for dinners and parties, then after the epiphany it is usually forgotten and here it slowly perishes and dies. . . Most people with no gardening experience think the poinsettia is an annual and can only produce flowers for one season, but that’s not the case: it’s actually a hardy and very hardy, albeit delicate, plant. . therefore, if cared for properly, it can last for years, so it will bloom again and we won’t have to buy a new one every Christmas. Thanks to hybridizations, today the poinsettia can also have pink, purple, yellow, white or bicolor bracts.
Growing Poinsettia Flowers
In their native countries, poinsettias live in the mountains or hills, where the climate is still mostly temperate. In our latitudes, these plants do not tolerate temperatures below a maximum of twelve degrees, nor sudden changes in temperature, which could lead to the loss of leaves or the aerial part. For these reasons, especially in our country, poinsettias are grown as indoor plants: to promote the development of the poinsettia flower, it should be kept in a room that is not too hot, in a position away from stoves, stoves and fireplaces. , but also doors and windows that could let in cold air and disturb the delicate balance that this plant needs. When we find the optimal place for our specimen,
Like any flowering plant, the poinsettia also needs care. Let’s start with the soil: the substrate must be made up of ordinary earth, combined with a little sand, useful to avoid the danger of stagnation of water, the main causes of root diseases. Then the euphorbia should be watered throughout the year, but only and exclusively when the soil is completely dry. In summer, for example, the substrate can dry out every day due to the high heat, so the plant will have to be supplied with a moderate amount of water daily. On the contrary, in winter the soil can remain wet for a long time, so in this case one watering per week may be sufficient. Then, every two weeks and throughout the year, we must give our star a specific fertilizer, except during the flowering period. Finally, every three years, you have to repot because the roots will have grown too long and will need more space and therefore a slightly larger container.