Red is one of the colors of Christmas and with it comes a plant that reflects that Christmas spirit: poinsettia or poinsettia. This species has ceased to be an exotic plant to become one of the icons of Christmas, next to the tree, the Bethlehem or the lights.
Photo courtesy of Poinsettia
Where are you from? Its past is in Central America, specifically in Mexico, where this plant had an important symbolism for the Aztec culture. In the sixteenth century, Franciscan friars used it as a floral ornament during the Christmas holidays. But it was Joel Roberts Poinsett, a training doctor and a great passionate about botany, who made it known worldwide around 1825. He served as ambassador to the United States in Mexico and on one of his trips he found this plant with red leaves, which captivated him. He picked up some cuttings and on his return to the United States he dedicated himself to their cultivation and development. It occurred to him to give that plant to his friends for Christmas and thus the tradition of giving this plant for Christmas was born.
Photo courtesy of Stars for Europe
Care. To extend its life beyond this time of year, the poinsettia needs for its development an adequate light exposure in addition to a moderate irrigation, once or twice a week depending on its location. It should not have sudden changes in temperature or air currents, although it can be planted in outdoor areas in hot climates. They also favor fresh interiors (with temperatures between 10 and 12 degrees).
Where do I buy it? It is advisable to buy them in florists and specialized garden centers where more varieties are found, of better quality, and where they will also advise us on their maintenance.
Many varieties. The poinsettia comes in a wide variety of formats and sizes, from which they can be found in miniature to the bushes, in addition to different tree or canopy shapes. During the last years, there has been an increase in the number of colors, from the traditional reds to the most modern bicolor, pink and marbled varieties, which allow their integration in practically any place as a base complement of the Christmas decoration. Due to the variety and spectacularity of its flowering, specific landscape interventions can be made for these dates, with very fast and visual performances that decorate terraces, entrances to gardens, homes and in general, soulless areas.
Photo courtesy of Fernando Pozuelo
Advice. When removing dried leaves, care must be taken as the plant has a latex that can cause minor irritations or allergies in contact with the skin.
Information prepared with the professional advice of the Landscaping Study of Fernando Pozuelo.