Davis Motor Sales banner ad

poinsettiaUS (12/15/13) — Although poinsettias are most often associated with the holiday season, they are actually tropical plants. In spite of their origins, poinsettias can thrive during the holiday season and even last long after the holidays have come and gone.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and Central America. Aztecs called the plant cuetlaxochitl. The flowering plant was first introduced to the United States by Joel Poinsett, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, and was subsequently renamed the poinsettia. The flowers of the poinsettia are actually the yellow blooms at the middle of the bright red or white bracts that form on the plant. Perhaps due to the bright red of the bracts, the plant quickly became a popular Christmas plant.

It's important to note that poinsettias grow in a warm climate and therefore must be kept in tropical conditions to ensure the plant's health. Furthermore, poinsettias bloom in response to shortening daylight hours. That means they will need ample darkness each night in order to simulate the dark nights of short, winter days. To achieve this, you may need to put the plant into a dark closet for 12 to 14 hours each night.

During the day, the plant should be in a sunny window where it will have access to bright light. The more light the better. Keep the soil evenly moist. Misting the plant will help it to retain some humidity. Also, fill the overflow saucer on your flower pot with gravel to allow water seeping through the pot to evaporate from the gravel. Hot temperatures indoors combined with high humidity will help the plant to thrive. Even one day without adequate moisture can cause the leaves to drop. Furthermore, decreasing temperatures can cause leaves to fall off. The goal is to keep the indoor temperature consistent.

While many poinsettia plants are discarded after the holiday season, these plants can actually be cut back and saved for next season. Trimming back any remaining leaves and continuing to care for the plant by keeping it moist can help. To force the blooms next season, start reducing the plant's exposure to sunlight in mid-September to October. Again, this will mean removing the plant to an area that is shrouded in complete darkness. Even streetlights or indoor lighting can affect blooming. If the plant does not begin to turn color before the holiday season, you may need to purchase a new plant and try again next year.

SurfKY News

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 7403

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 6558

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 6441

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 6232

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 5956

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 5924

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

February 28, 2015 2933

City's Parking Ordinances to be Strictly Enforced…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 2118

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Feb. 27, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
February 27, 2015 1904

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
February 27, 2015 1868

Local Church Hosting Spring Campmeeting

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1838

Tim Thomas to Speak at Rescheduled Black History…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1768

AIRPLAY: Travis Dukes Makes Stop for Jam Session

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1629

Mustangs Fall to McLean County in Three Overtime…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
February 27, 2015 1577

How to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Home

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1514

Whitfield Presses Health Secretary on Obamacare…

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
February 27, 2015 1470

Tips for Travelers Considering a Cruise

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News