Thursday, January 19, 2017


By now those holiday plants in your office are shedding their once beautiful red leaves from never being watered properly or just being in the wrong environment for plant growth. There is also a smaller plant called a Christmas  Cactus   that spews beautiful clusters of red blooms in December. Does these beautiful gifts of red colorful plants set the tone for the red holiday of Christmas? The plant is called the poinsettia and comes in at least 5 different varieties. In Greenville, South Carolina at the airport there was a massive Christmas tree to greet new arrivals that was made from tires of 168 plants that towered to be more than 10 feet high of Christmas red cheer.
The town has a Poinsettia Hotel and a Christmas   Parade called the Poinsettia Parade. A poinsettia bridge and a poinsettia highway is named too. Where do these unusual plants grow? They grow wild in Mexico. In the year 1500 thereabouts the Aztecs were the first to cultivate the plant. Franciscan Missionaries arrived in the 1600’s and thought the plants red color signified the blood of Christ. They called it the Christmas Eve flower. In Mexico there are street mosaics that pay tribute to the plant that is also featured in their Christmas religious parades. The plant is names after the first ambassador to Mexico Joe Poinsett. He was a plant lover and was responsible for the exchange of plants to and from Mexico to the states. In 1828 the first poinsettias were sent to this country.  The plant blooms only once a year near Christmas time.
In the early 1900’s the plant becomes really popular and even a stamp is a picture of the plant. Red and green also become the dominant colors of the season.  By the 1960’s and 70’s American greenhouses produced millions of the plants.  Today they have become America’s second most popular plant. There are more than 150 varieties now. They have names like titan, marble star, ice punch and freedom. The red color make up 90% of the 200 million dollar market. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not poisonous to pets or humans. You can even taste the sweet nectar on the plant. Consumers typically buy one or two plants.
So water the things or throw them out for a new stock next year.

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