At Createscape Landscaping Service, we love bringing landscapes to life with colorful blooming flowers and lush green plants. During the winter months, we love to celebrate one special plant. Poinsettias are most famous for bringing color to the plant world during the holidays. Here’s a little bit more about this beloved plant and how you can enjoy it in your Wisconsin home.
About the Poinsettia Plant
Poinsettias are shrubs or small trees that grow anywhere from 2 to 13 feet tall and are indigenous to Mexico and Central America. The plant was introduced to the U.S. in the 1820s by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. minister to Mexico. National Poinsettia Day is celebrated on December 12, the anniversary of Poinsett’s death.
Red is the most popular color, although poinsettias are also available in burgundy, pink, salmon, white, cream, and gold. Starting at the base, the plant bears dark green pointed leaves of approximately 2 to 6 inches in length. Above the green leaves sit the red-colored bracts, which are the leaves that produce the tiny yellow flower buds growing out of the center of them.
The red color of the bracts is created by the plant being exposed to extensive periods of darkness each night for 6 to 8 weeks in a row. The plants also require abundant light during the day to achieve the brightest color. They generally lose most of their leaves during winter.
Association with the Holidays
The bright red color and timing of the Poinsettias blooming in December make it easy to understand why it has become connected to the holidays. The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th-century Mexico with the legend of a poor girl who brought the plant as an offering to church. Crimson blossoms sprouted from the plant and became poinsettias. The star-shaped leaf pattern and red color have been used to symbolize beliefs of the Christian faith. The poinsettia is also said to symbolize good cheer and success and bring wishes of happiness and celebration. Appropriately, it is also the birth flower for December.
Growing Poinsettias After the Holidays
Since Poinsettias are a tropical plant, they don’t do well in cold temperatures. In Wisconsin, don’t leave the poinsettia outside when temperatures drop below freezing. If the soil or leaves freeze, the plant may die. When kept inside and cared for properly, it’s challenging but possible to maintain this plant for a rebloom next season.
After the holidays, the red bracts will fade and fall off the plant. Cut back the stems just below the flowers to about 4 to 6 inches from the soil. The poinsettia may be repotted at this time. When new growth appears, place the poinsettia in a sunny room. Poinsettias need a minimum of 6 hours of indirect sunlight each day, and then 12 hours of darkness each night. They do best in rooms with temperatures of 65 to 70 (F) during the day and 55 to 65 degrees (F) at night. Water the plant when the soil surface becomes dry to the touch.
Createscape Landscaping Service
Keeping your property beautiful year-round is our business. We offer landscaping services that include seasonal planting, pruning, clean-up, and more. We continue to install hardscaping year-round, so anytime is a great time to install the patio or walkway you desire for your home. Call our office and talk with our professionals about the services available for your Southeastern Wisconsin home.