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Poinsettias

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherima) were first brought into the United States in 1825 by Joel Robert Poinsett,while he was serving as the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico. He found the plants growing on a hillside near Taxco, Mexico. When he returned to the United States, he sent the plants to different botanical gardens around the world. The first Poinsettias were sold in the US about 1850. Today there are over 50 million sold each year.
Poinsettias require medium to bright light, but never full sun. They prefer to be kept on the cool side, 65-70 degrees during the day and 55-60 at night. They will lose leaves if they are exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees or above 80. Keep the plant as far as possible from heat sources, or cold drafts. Poinsettias prefer moderately moist soil, so when the soil begins to feel dry to the touch, add enough water so the excess drips out the drain holes, but never allow the plant to sit in water. Feed every 2 weeks with an all purpose liquid 10-10-10 fertilizer when the plant is growing.
Poinsettias are perennials, so it's possible to keep them growing from year to year. In order to get them to produce their flower bracts again next December, they must be kept at 50 degrees and kept in total darkness for 14 hours per day beginning in mid September. ANY light, even turning on a light bulb for a few seconds will delay the bloom, so it takes a little effort, but it is very satisfying to see your results when you succeed.

Merry Christmas