The euphorbia pulcherrima, or as it is more commonly called, poinsettia, is a flowering shrub indigenous to Central America. Although it grows naturally in Central America, its popularity has spread all over the world. The plant is known for its beautiful red and green leaves. As these are the colours that represent Christmas, poinsettias have also come to be associated with the holiday season.
The poinsettia was not always associated with Christmas. Originally, the plant was used as a medication and red dye for the Aztecs. According to legend, poinsettias first became Christmas ornaments during the 16th century, when a young girl planted weeds in front of a church in celebration of Christ’s birthday. The weeds grew into colourful plants with a star-shaped pattern said to represent the Star of Bethlehem.
Today, these beautiful shrubs are given as Christmas gifts or used for holiday decorations. Although there are many types of Christmas flower arrangements, poinsettias are always a popular choice. With the proper poinsettia care, these plants can easily last a long time and well into the Spring of the new year. In fact, in ideal conditions the plants can last several years and it is not necessary to throw away a perfectly good poinsettia after the Christmas season is over.
Poinsettia care requires plenty of bright light. The shrubs are typically grown in warmer climates, so they need a lot of sunlight to stay alive. They cannot be stored in temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius, or they will quickly die. Another common mistake people make in poinsettia care is watering them too often. Putting the plant in a bright, warm area and limiting watering is enough to keep it healthy for a long time.
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