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2021 Poinsettias

October 18, 2021

Interesting Facts About Poinsettias

Poinsettias are a top holiday flower pick for their beautiful array of shades and colors. They have traditionally been the winter holiday’s most popular plant, the sure and steady standby, but do you really know about the Poinsettia? We bet you don’t! 

Here are 8 things you didn’t know about Poinsettias:


Poinsettias were introduced to the U.S. from Mexico by Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett in the early 1800s, but they have been used as a part of religious ceremonies in Mexico for centuries, all the way back to the time of the Aztecs.

Pink Poinsettia
Prestige Red Poinsettia


You’ve probably been saying it wrong. Yep! It’s actually a four-syllable word, pronounced [poin-set-ee-uh] not that three-syllable word you’re likely saying in your head right now.


Marblestar Poinsettia

Poinsettias are small tropical trees that grow up to 12 ft. tall in the wild! The poinsettias you’ll find in your office or home today have been bred to bloom longer and grow (much) shorter than their wild ancestors.


The big red leaves aren’t actually flowers, they’re modified leaves called bracts. The actual flower is the little yellow cluster in the center called cyathia.

red poinsettia in bloom
Ice Punch


They can bloom again, but it’s quite tricky. For poinsettias to get those pretty red leaves for the holidays, keep the plant in complete darkness for 14 hours a day for 8-10 weeks. Not even a nightlight can be present in the room, it’s that sensitive! Even if you follow the very specific light regiment, not every plant will bloom again. Good thing they’re still beautiful when they’re green!


National Poinsettia Day is December 12 and has been celebrated since Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett died on that day in 1851.

Valentine Poinsettia
Alaska White


Red is the most popular color, accounting for roughly three-quarters of all sales nationwide, followed by white and pink. The more than 100 varieties of poinsettias come in a range of colors from red, salmon, and apricot to yellow, cream, and white (but not blue—these are a designer color created with dyes). There are also unusual speckled or marbled varieties with several colors blended together. New varieties are introduced yearly.


Marblestar Poinsettia

Poinsettias remain the highest selling potted flowering plant. Of the traditional crops, Easter lilies are a distant second with $22 million in sales. Potted orchids are higher value plants, so rated second in value ($186 million in sales), but a mere 23 million were sold.

Help your Poinsettias grow!

You do not need to fertilize your poinsettia during the holidays.  

Start fertilizing your plant when you see new growth (new green leaves, stems, bracts).

Fertilize with Jack’s Classic Houseplant Special 8 household plant fertilizer.

Mix with water at half the recommended strength.

Feed your poinsettia every 3-4 weeks to keep the plant healthy and provide the necessary nutrients for new growth.