Decking the halls with illustrious Poinsettias
Ah, the Poinsettia – where would we be this time of year without those festive red leaves to deck our halls and make our season merry?
So long have they been a part of our culture, it’s little known their history dates back to ancient Aztec times.
Native to Central America, ‘Cuetlaxochitl’ as they were once referred, the sap of the common Poinsettia was once used to produce dyes, cosmetics and medicines to treat fever.
It wasn’t until 1828 when Joel Roberts Poinsett, skilled botanist and the first US Ambassador to Mexico, brought them to North America.
First grown by collectors, botanical gardens and for cut flower production, it would take another roughly 80 years before the Poinsettia would be available to everyone.
Today, the Poinsettia remains the most popular potted plant sold during the holidays.
In fact, on December 12th you can even celebrate National Poinsettia Day!
To keep them fresh, make sure it is wrapped properly on purchase to protect it from cold air.
Choose a spot with bright, indirect light for at least six hours a day, and ensure none of the leaves are exposed to drafts from opening doors or cold windowpanes.
Also, avoid areas exposed to warm air from radiators and air registers.
Poinsettias retain their beauty longest and are happiest between 60-70 degrees, with nighttime temps a little cooler.
Check the soil daily and water when the top begins to dry (it’s better to let them get a little too dry rather than too wet) and definitely don’t let them sit in water if they have a foil pot cover.
With proper care, your Poinsettia will retain its beauty for weeks, if not months!
Find a festive Poinsettia at Paxson Hill, located at 3265 Comfort Rd., New Hope.
Choose from red, white, and speckled poinsettias, Christmas cactus, Cyclamen, orchids, lavender, rosemary, amerillos, and paper whites. Many greens to choose from including lemon cypris, ferns, and trimmings.
(Paxson Hill greenhouses also care for tropical plants and trees from local homes and businesses on a monthly basis).
More info online at www.paxsonhillfarm.com or call 215-297-1010.
Enjoy the warmth of the season.
PHOTO CAP: Lori Healy, greenhouse design and display guru, has been working her magic preparing for your visit.