It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we gooo...
With candy canes, silver lanes aglow and the iconic Poinsettia!
By this time of the year, you’ll be seeing them appear in grocery stores, nurseries or even on one’s table centrepiece!
But WHAT ARE POINSETTIAS?
Here’s a full all-you-need-to-know rundown on these festive seasonal plants.
The Poinsettia Flower & Plant
The world of botany (the study of plants) is one filled with amazing wonders and mysteries that most of us have yet to comprehend.
Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbiaceae family, botanically, the plant is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima native to Mexico (Flor de Nochebuena. There’s a legend behind this but let’s circle back to this later).
Believe it or not, those large red "petals" aren't petals at all - they're called floral bracts aka modified leaves!
The flower portion of the Poinsettia are actually those small clusters of yellow blooms located right in the middle of the bright leaves.
What are they for? Well, other than looking really good next to a Christmas tree - the bright red leaves also help to attract insects to the small yellow flowers for pollination.
The Colours: Pink Poinsettias, Red Poinsettias, White Poinsettias and more!
Traditionally bright red poinsettias are best known but did you know they come in a rainbow of colours?
The evolution of the Poinsettia plant throughout the decades (as humans do) amounted to more than 100 varieties as of today -
From pink poinsettias, white poinsettias, blue poinsettias and ever marbled poinsettias.
Curious to see what the pink poinsettia one could look like placed in your living room? Scroll down to find out.
Why are Poinsettias for Christmas?
One of the best parts of Christmas besides the gifts is probably the Christmas tales that come with it.
Yes, everybody knows Rudolph but have you heard of The Legend of The Poinsettia?
If you haven't, you're in for a real treat. Let's do a fun 5-minute visualisation, close your eyes and cosy up under the blankets. Lights off, set scene in Mexico and action!
Pepita was a little girl who lived in a small village in Mexico called San Pancho.
Her parents were poor farmers who became very sick as Christmas approached.
Whilst the entire village was busy decorating the church and making special gifts to place around the manger on Christmas Eve, Pepita was occupied helping her parents with the cooking, cleaning and burrowing of the fields.
As Christmas Eve arrived, Pepita didn't have a gift prepared for the Christmas Eve church service.
Eventually, she decided to give a gift of weeds from outside the church and to everyone's surprise, each weed magically turned into a flaming red star - the bright red leaves.
From that day on, the bright red flower was known as the scared night flower that bloomed every year during Christmas and as such, the legend of poinsettia was born.
The flower didn't even have its name until later, when the US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, brought them back to the United States — hence, the name we now call Poinsettia.
How to Grow & Cara Jaga Pokok Poinsettia
Here are a couple of tips to keep a poinsettia healthy and striving for Christmas,
And with enough care, maybe even get it to rebloom in time for the festive season next year.
Poinsettias like at least 6 hours in rooms with bright, indirect sunlight daily or filter the sunlight through a sheer curtain. Putting them in direct sunlight may cause the colour of the bracts to fade, however putting them in too dim lighting will also cause them to shed their lower leaves.
While most sources online will tell you to keep it between 10 to 22 Celcius, that's quite impossible in Malaysia - unless you like your aircon to be on 24/7!
Instead, a consistent room temperature will do as long as you make sure to keep it away from extreme temperatures like cold & warm draughts from your aircon or an open window.
If you have a particularly windy home, consider placing a humidifier to increase humidity levels in the area surrounding your poinsettia. Your plant will love it!
Water & Fertiliser
Rule of thumb: Only water when the soil surface feels dry to the touch or when the pot feels light when lifted. Do make sure the pot has holes in the bottom so the water can drain. Never allow excess water to pool. Fertilising is recommended every 2 weeks.
Reblooming your Poinsettia
Poinsettias are called "short day" plants for a reason. For a short day plant to produce flowers, they must experience days with less than 12 hours of daylight. Here's how:
Place your poinsettia in a dark closet or a room you won't use as much during the night, so it says in complete uninterrupted darkness.
Once daytime, keep your poinsettia in the sunniest location possible (bright indirect light).
Continue watering and fertilising following the steps above. But remember to be careful, overwatering can potentially kill the poinsettia or cause grey mould to form.
Just know, getting it to bloom again takes extra time and effort and does not necessarily mean it’ll be successful. If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!
Keep away from furry friends! Some studies show the white sap causes allergic reactions for both people and mild symptoms to dogs and cats but they are not poisonous. If you're sensitive, handle the plant using gloves to prevent skin or eye irritation.
We do Poinsettia Deliveries!
If you aren’t in the mood to grow your own, how about Poinsettia Delivery just for you or to your loved ones this festive season.
Check out the line-up of Poinsettias we have in store for you! Same-day deliveries are available from Mon-Sun for orders made by 3.30 pm within Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor Bahru and Penang.
Ah, the classic Christmas poinsettia. Bursting with red and ready to display in an elegant white pot, this poinsettia will thrive for years to come if you follow our steps above. It's a gift that keeps on giving!
Price: RM 179
A vibrant pink twist to the classic red poinsettia. This stunning variation is sure to be a blooming treat for this Christmas and for many more Christmases to come! Send the gift of holiday cheer with a festive pink Poinsettia in a gorgeous white pot.
Price: RM 179
It's beginning to look (and smell) a lot like Christmas! That's because of our stunning red Christmas poinsettia, perfectly paired with a delicious assortment of Chizu croissants. It's the perfect celebration pact for your Christmas get-togethers or even as open-house door gifts.
Price: RM 299
As this article comes to an end, we do hope you're more acquainted with this merry Christmas flower. Drop us a message below to tell us what you like about the Poinsettia or if you have any questions about it.
And since it's the season of giving, bring some warmth and joy to your loved one's tabletop with a Poinsettia plant of their own!