Poinsettia

Poinsettia

No longer just the old familiar bright red, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) are available in a multitude of colors, from pink, white, deep rosy red, orange-red, to variegated pink and cream, red and white, and now a yellowish white. I love them all, and added three more to my collection last holiday season: two of the red-and-white, and one of the pink-and-white. These were very small and still in pots until after the holidays. Here’s the pink-and-cream one:

 

After the danger of freezing temperatures had passed, about early-to-mid March, I planted them in my garden. The pink-and-white one will add a nice splash of color to my night garden that I am still creating in our back yard. What’s a night garden? Just wait for my post on that topic coming soon.

 

Poinsettia are cold hardy in zones 9b to 11. For info on caring your poinsettia during and after the holidays, check out my blog post “Keeping Poinsettia Alive After the Holidays” by clicking right here.

 

Did you know the colored leaves are not the blooms? They are just leaves called bracts that turn gorgeous colors when the time is right. The shorter days of winter cause the leaves to change colors. This photo of my Breast Cancer Poinsettia (a rich pink) is was taken in late November.

 

 

 

The internal changes that trigger the color change also tell the plant to form the flower buds. The flowers are quite small, and are easily missed. Below is one of my white poinsettia with buds almost ready to open:

 

 

Here’s a look at those tiny buds. They should be opening any day now.

 

 

 

The photos above are close-up shots from the large shrub below. It was in our back yard for several years, and grew to about 4 feet tall — poinsettias actually flowering shrubs. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma destroyed it. I replaced it last December, but it will be a while before the new one is this large.