Decorating with Poinsettias

The Holidays have arrived. With family celebrations on the horizon, that can only mean two things, the Poinsettias are blooming and it’s time to decorate.

Poinsettias, first made famous in the United States by Dr. Joel Poinsett, have long been a traditional centerpiece marking the Holiday season.

In honor of National Poinsettia set on December 12th here are a few interesting facts about these exotic plants:

  1. Poinsettias are native to Mexico, where they can easily reach 12’ tall.
  2. A common myth of Poinsettias is that they are poisonous, this is false. Recent studies have shown Poinsettias are not poisonous.
  3. The colorful part of the plant that looks like the flower is actually a leaf. Its correct term is “bract”.
  4. True flowers develop in the center of a bract and are very small and yellow in color. They are called cyathia.
  5. 80% of all Poinsettias sold in the United States are red.
  6. Smith Gardens grows over 29 varieties of Poinsettias every year.

Decorating with Poinsettias can be as simple as stopping by your favorite store. Most Poinsettias are sold in a decorative wrap or in holiday style planters, making them the ideal gift and perfect for instant gratification. Simple centerpieces can also be created for those with the crafting itch.

Here are just three fun ideas for holiday decorating with Poinsettias:

Table Center Piece

Items: Any empty container you have at home, evergreen trimmings from your backyard (or the neighbors), pruning shears, and 3- Poinsettias (size depends on container)

Steps: Simply place the three Poinsettias, leaving them in their pot and decorative wrap, inside the empty container. Snip pieces of the evergreen foliage and place them inside the container so they spill over the sides. That’s it!

Place Settings

Items: Small empty glass jar, decorative glass beads or rocks (found at most craft stores), safety pins, pruning shears, place cards, water, your favorite 4” Poinsettia. Quantity will depend on how many guests you have.

Steps: Fill the bottom 1/3 of the jar with the decorative beads, fill the jar with water, snip a bract off of the Poinsettia and place the bract in the center of the jar, stabilizing it with the beads. Snip the open end of the safety pin off creating a 2-pronged stake. Slide the place card in the rounded opposite end of the pin, and then slide the pronged end into the center of the Poinsettia bract.

Decorative Planter:

Items: Empty container, glass or wired. You want it to be transparent and large enough to hold a 4” Poinsettia with enough space to fill around it. You will also need one 4” Poinsettia and a few Christmas bulbs of various size.

Steps: Drop a few bulbs into the bottom of the container. Drop the Poinsettia in the center of the container and fill around it with more bulbs. Instant holiday decoration!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Smith Gardens.