Poinsettias, Dec. 12


    Originally from Mexico, poinsettia is the most popular potted plant in the United States. Every year poinsettia sales contribute more than $200 million to the U.S. economy between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

    Before purchasing your own plant, you'll want to know how to choose and care for it.

    Poinsettias come in a variety of colors: red, creamy white, shades of pink and orange, marbled bracts of pink and white and even pink flecks on red. Once you've decided on the color you want, make sure the plant is healthy before you buy it. Leaves and bracts should not show any wilting, which could mean problems with the roots. Check the underside of the leaves to make sure there's no insect damage.

    Once you've picked the perfect plant, put it in bright, indirect light and don't overwater it. To determine when your poinsettia needs water, touch the surface of the soil. If the soil feels clammy or moist, it is best to wait before adding more water.

    At the time of purchase the plant's growth period is over, so there is no need for additional fertilizer or additional nutrients.

    Learn more about the history and myths of the poinsettia