POINSETTIAS HERALD HOLIDAY FESTIVITY
POINSETTIAS (also known as Mexican Flame Leaf) are traditionally associated with the festive season.
The red, white and black foliage is commonly mistaken for a flower but actually, they are coloured bracts.
The legend of the poinsettia dates back to 16th century Mexico and tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday.
An angel appeared and inspired her to gather weeds from the roadside and to place these in front of the church’s altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and grew to become beautiful poinsettias.
In South Africa, poinsettias are a common garden plant that flowers during winter. Potted varieties have been specifically grown for the season and are available in a variety of intense colours. The plant is synonymous with the upcoming holiday season and makes a bright, bold statement.
After the leaves have fallen off the poinsettia, it can be planted outside in the garden and will naturally flower in the winter.
No flower says holidays like the beautiful poinsettia. The showy coloured parts of poinsettias that most people think of as flowers are actually coloured bracts (modified leaves).
Position the plant in bright light during winter. The plant must be protected from the hot summer sun if it is to flower again.
Only water a poinsettia when its soil is dry to the touch. Water until water seeps out the bottom of the drainage holes.
Although poinsettias do not like to dry out, they also do not like to sit in water.
Empty the water that accumulates in the drip pan that holds the pot.
Fertilise plant weekly, from mid-spring to end of summer.
SHOWY SHRUB: Poinsettia