By Dan Jewett, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Master Gardener, Denver County
Poinsettias have trekked through history from the mountains of Mexico to America's living rooms.
And, now it's the time of year to select the best plant for your holiday season.
Chances are the poinsettia will extend your holiday season into spring. Plant scientists have improved upon the wild varieties to the point where poinsettias often hold their bracts, the colored portion of the flowers, through April, or even May and June.
Here are some tips to help you choose a poinsettia that will add color to your home long after the holidays are past.
Here are some tips to keep your plant healthy and beautiful:
When leaves fall -- a natural occurrence -- cut the stems back to two or three buds and reduce watering to a minimum until new growth appears. Poinsettias will grow well outdoors over the summer or in a sunny window and will bloom again with a little help.
To bloom, they need 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness. If you start this in October, the poinsettia will be ready for the next holiday season.
Photograph courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010