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

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© 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

July 27, 2015 5704

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3749

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News
July 30, 2015 2938

Webster Man Leads Police on Chase through Parts…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 2823

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 2449

Hanson, Owensboro, Bowling Green Youths Win at…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 02, 2015 19809

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 17, 2015 16121

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 30, 2015 2938

Webster Man Leads Police on Chase through Parts…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 2823

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 1514

24th Annual Miss Teen Hopkins County Fair Pageant…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 1303

Little Miss, Mister Hopkins County Fair Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 1209

Hanson City Council Discusses Boundaries, Zoning

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 30, 2015 1094

UPDATE: Body of Missing 8 Year Old Found; No Foul…

by SurfKY News
July 30, 2015 1000

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 767

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
July 31, 2015 679

State Fair President Commends Hopkins County Fair…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 30, 2015 637

Two Teens Face Multiple Charges Including Burglary

by SurfKY News