Christmas

Poinsettia Varieties and Gift Baskets

Information for Churches, Clubs and Organizations

Poinsettia Care

Poinsettia Toxicity Myth

Anatomy of a Poinsettia

Poinsettia History

Reflowering a Poinsettia

Live Christmas Trees and Fresh Greenery

Artificial Greenery & Craft Supplies

 


Varieties
Below are some of the many varieties of poinsettias we either currently have or have carried in the past. If you are looking for a specific variety, please give us a call. Look for red, pink or white, or consider novelty varities with speckled, striped, or curly bracts.

Christmas Day Red
Christmas Feelings Marble
Cortez Burgandy
Curly Winter Rose Red
Early Monet
Ice Punch
Jubilee Red
Jubilee Pink
Jubilee TriColor
Maren Pink
Mars Pink
Princettia Hot Pink
Red Glitter
White Star

Free foil in red, gold, green, silver or cranberry, plus a protective sleeve to transport your poinsettia.

 

Poinsettia Gift Baskets:
Many customers like to purchase gift baskets that contain live poinsettias, ribbon and other holiday embellishments. These make perfect presents for friends and co-workers during the holiday season. Please stop by to see this year's selection of baskets.

 

Churches, Clubs and Organizations:
Please give us a call if your church, club or organization would like to place a larger order for poinsettias. You may choose your poinsettias yourself or allow us to choose them for you. We will hold and care for your flowers until you are ready to pick them up or have them delivered. Discounts apply when you pick them up. Place your order with us as soon as possible so we can assure you of receiving the quantities you need.

 

Caring for your poinsettia:
Light: Place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours per day. If direct sun can't be avoided, diffuse the light with a shade or sheer curtain. For entertaining purposes, you can move your poinsettia to an area that doesn't have correct lighting conditions, but then return it to its proper holding area.

Temperature: Poinsettias do not last long when exposed to extremes in temperature, particularly in drafty locations. This can cause overall plant decline and leaf drop. Provide room temperatures between 68 - 70° F. Generally speaking, if you are comfortable, so is your poinsettia. Don't place plants near cold drafts or excessive heat from appliances, fireplaces or ventilating ducts. Poinsettias are sensitive to cold, so don't place them outside during winter months or expose to temperatures below 50° F.

Water: Poinsettias will not tolerate moisture extremes. Do not keep the potting mix too wet or too dry. If allowed to dry out too much, the plant will wilt and drop its leaves. Conversely, don't allow the plant to remain in standing water. This could result in root rot, which will cause the plant to decline. Therefore, water your plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch but before it begins to wilt. Always remove a plant from any decorative container before watering, and allow the water to drain completely.

Fertilizing: Don't fertilize your poinsettia while it is in bloom. After the blooming season, if you want to keep your poinsettia, begin fertilizing with an all-purpose fertilizer.

Transporting: Do use your protective plastic sleeve when transporting your poinsettia as this will help to protect it from chilling, drying winds. Don't leave your poinsettia in your vehicle if the interior temperature has the chance to drop below 50° F.

 

Poinsettias are not poisonous!
The widespread belief that poinsettias are poisonous is a myth. Studies by Ohio State University and the Society of American Florists show that there is no toxicity when poinsettias are ingested at levels that even far exceed those likely to occur in a home setting. POISINDEX Information Service, whose information is used by poison control centers, concludes that a 50-pound child would have to eat more than 500 poinsettia bracts to match experimental doses - and even at this level it would have no toxic effect. Of course, poinsettias are not supposed to be eaten, and some people do experience an allergic reaction to them. Parents should always caution children to not eat any plant without asking an adult first.


 

 

Greenhouse full of poinsettias Arrangement of poinsettias & gifts
 

 Anatomy of a poinsettia
Just what is a poinsettia flower? Probably not what you've always thought! The red (or pink, white, etc) part is really a leaf, not the flower, that changes from green as the plant matures.

The photo below is part of a really outstanding macroscopic (close-up) collection of images of poinsettia leaves, bracts, flowers, veins, stems, etc by Brian Johnston. Please visit this site at: www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artdec08/bj-poinsettia.html  

Poinsettia history:
Native to Central America, this euphorbia flourished in an area of Southern Mexico known as Taxco del Alarcon. The ancient Aztecs had a name for this plant found blooming in the tropical highlands during the short days of winter: cuetlaxochitl (star flower). Not merely decorative, the Aztecs put the plant to practical use. From its bracts they extracted a purplish dye for use in textiles and cosmetics. The milky white sap, today called latex, was made into a preparation to treat fevers.

The poinsettia may have remained a regional plant for many years to come had it not been for the efforts of Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779 - 1851). The son of a French physician, Poinsett was fluent in French, Spanish, Italian and German. He had studied medicine, law, and military science and was an avid amateur botanist. During his career, he served in the South Carolina state legislature, was chairman of the state's Board of Public Works, served in the U.S. House of Representatives, spearheaded what is now known as the Smithsonian Institution and expanded the operations of West Point. But it was in1828, while he was appointed as special envoy to Mexico by John Quincy Adams, that he found the poinsettia. While wandering the countryside in Taxco looking for new plant species, he found a beautiful shrub with large red flowers growing next to a road. He took cuttings from the plant and brought them back to his greenhouse in South Carolina where he began propagating the plants and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

The botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima, was assigned to the poinsettia by the German botanist, Wilenow. The plant grew through a crack in his greenhouse. Dazzled by its color, he gave it the botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima meaning "very beautiful."

Among the recipients of Poinsett's work was John Bartram of Philadelphia, who in turn gave the plant over to another friend, Robert Buist, a Pennsylvania nurseryman. Opinions differ as to whether it was Bartram or Buist who first sold the plant under its original botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima . In the 1830's, as the popularity of the "painted leaf" or "Mexican fire plant" spread, William Prescott, a historian and horticulturist, was asked to give Euphorbia pulcherrima a new name. At that time Mr. Prescott had just published a book called the `Conquest of Mexico' in which he detailed Joel Poinsett's discovery of the plant. Prescott named the plant the poinsettia in honor of Joel Poinsett's discovery. Congress even deemed December 12 National Poinsettia Day to commemorate the date of Poinsett's death.

In the early 1900's the Ecke family of southern California grew poinsettias outdoors for use as landscape plants and as a cut flower. Eventually the family grew poinsettias in greenhouses and today is recognized as the leading producer of poinsettias in the United States.

Re-flowering your poinsettia:
For the most beautiful poinsettias in your home during the Christmas season, it is usually best to buy new plants that have been professionally grown. However, some people enjoy the challenge of re-flowering the plants they have kept from Christmas past.

By late March or early April, cut your poinsettia back to about 8" in height. Continue a regular watering program, and fertilize your plant with a good, balanced all-purpose fertilizer. By the end of May, you should see vigorous new growth.

Place your plants outdoors, where they can bask in the warmth of spring and summer, after all chance of frost has passed and night temperatures average 55° F or above. Continue regular watering during the growth period, and fertilize every 2 to 3 weeks.

Pruning may be required during the summer to keep plants bushy and compact. Late June or early July is a good time for this step, but be sure not to prune your plant later than September 1. Keep the plants in indirect sun and water regularly.

Around June 1, you may transplant your poinsettia into a larger pot. Select a pot no more than 4 inches larger than the original pot. A soil mix with a considerable amount of organic matter, such as peat moss or leaf mold, is highly recommended.

The poinsettia is a photoperiodic plant, meaning that it sets bud and produces flowers as the autumn nights lengthen. Poinsettias will naturally come into bloom during November or December, depending on the flowering response time of the individual cultivar. Timing to produce blooms for the Christmas holiday can be difficult outside of the controlled environment of a greenhouse. Because poinsettias are short-day plants, you must decrease the day length (photoperiod) in the autumn to stimulate flowering. To make sure that your poinsettia will be in flower by December, the day length for the plant should not exceed 10 hours. For about 8 to 10 weeks beginning on October 1, place your poinsettia in complete darkness every day from about 5 p.m. to 7 or 8 a.m. The plant must not be exposed to even a single burst of light during this dark, long-night period. This includes not just daylight and house lighting, but also street lights and car headlights that might shine in through a window. During the light period of each day, place the plant where it will receive bright, indirect sunlight.

 

 

Live Christmas Trees, Greenery and Decor
We have live, balled and burlaped Christmas trees. Live pines make great Christmas trees by staying fresh all season and can then be planted in your yard for generations of future enjoyment! If you keep a live tree in your home, reacclimate it to outdoor temperatures by moving it first to a protected area like an unheated garage or sheltered porch. After a week or so, you can then plant your tree in your yard. If the ground is too frozen to dig, mound mulch or straw around the ball of the pine and keep moist until the ground unfreezes enough to plant. Varieties include: Alberta Spruce, Norway Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce, Siberian Spruce, White Spruce and White Pine. Sizes range from 2-6' and are priced from $30 to $115, most being only a little more than a cut tree that gets discarded at the end of the season.

You will find a complete stock of fresh greenery throughout December. We have wreaths in several sizes and type of greenery including white pine, frasier fir, and mixed greens. Some come with cones and berries already attached, or you can select a plain wreath to be decorated by you or our staff. If you'd like to add a bow, we have both ready-made bows and a selection of handcrafted ribbon bows. We can even make one for you from our stock of ribbon, or you can bring in your ribbon and we will be glad to make one for you.

For creating swags over doorways, along stair railings or porch balconies, choose fresh greenery roping. We stock several styles, sold by the foot or as a 75' roll.

Also available are loose greens like holly and various pines. Use these to create table decorations or to add to plain wreaths and roping.

If you don't feel particularly creative, our staff is happy to make up a wreath or swag to your specifications.

 

 

 Christmas decorations


A Large poinsettia topiary

Artificial Greenery and Decorations:
Be sure to come into our Colonial Christmas Shoppe to see our selection of artificial Christmas wreaths, Christmas ornaments and other Holiday Decor. We have some unusual decorations and collectibles that you won't find elsewhere.

We have a nice selection of crafting supplies for embellishing or making your own wreath, plaque, swag or basket. You'll find artificial wreaths, roping and swags, silk poinsettias and magnolias, silk holly and ivy, all kinds of everlasting fruit, picks and stems of holiday silks, and lots more.

 
Silk magnolias & poinsettias and
some gold-glittered apple picks

Wall of artificial wreaths