Poinsettias Are Not Poisonous!
The poinsettia is not only nonpoisonous, it is considered
to be non-toxic as well. According to the national information
center for poison control centers, even large amounts--
Some people are mildly allergic to the sap of all poinsettia
relatives, just as many people are to other forms of
latex. Latex is the primary component of the white sap.
However, poinsettias are not considered edible either,
so use common sense and keep plants out of the reach
of young children and pets. This goes for all indoor
plants, not just the poinsettia.
Poinsettias are grown traditionally as pot plants for
use in the home during the Christmas holiday season.
However, poinsettias are often used as landscape plants
in south and central Florida.
Poinsettias are woody perennials and when grown outdoors,
usually begin blooming (bracts showing color) as early
as Thanksgiving. The colorful bracts are retained until
March or even later unless the plants are exposed to
Barely a decade ago, the poinsettia did not retain
its bracts for more than a few days when placed indoors.
As the result of intensive breeding programs, poinsettia
cultivars of today have excellent foliage and bract
retention and a diversity of leaf patterns, growth habits
and bract colors. The new cultivars have developed to
such an extent that they can compete with many of the
flowering plants used in the Florida landscape.
Poinsettias are traditionally grown as Christmas pot
plants, and breeders have been concerned with improving
them for this purpose. They worked to produce a fast-growing,
compact pot plant which would retain its leaves and
bracts under the less-than-favorable conditions found
in the home.
Caring for Your Holiday Poinsettia Indoors
Each holiday season, the number one flowering plant
sold in America is the Poinsettia. There is always some
confusion about the best way to care for and display
this popular plant. The following are some tips for
getting the most from a Poinsettia during the holidays.
Care of Poinsettias in the Home
• Location - Keep plants in
a warm location free of drafts and chilling. Bright
light is always best, but avoid placing plants in extremely
sunny, hot, and dry situations.
• Watering - Water a poinsettia,
when the soil is dry to the touch. Remove any excess
water from the saucer beneath the plant, as Poinsettias
do not like to have soggy soil. Most people kill their
poinsettias with too much water. Remember this plant
came from the tropical desert and in more tolerant of
dry conditions than of wet.
• Humidity – Poinsettias
like a little bit higher humidity than the average household
but will do fine in most situations without additional
humidity. Misting plants or placing them on gravel tray
will prolong the color and life of the poinsettia.
• Fertilization – It is
not necessary to fertilize your poinsettia during the
holiday season. In fact, high levels of fertilizer will
reduce the quality of the plant. If you want to keep
your poinsettia past the holiday season, see the section
on caring for your plants after the holidays.