Floral Design with Cara: The Christmas Stars

By Cara Ewald on December 12, 2014 from Floral Design with Cara via Connect-Bridgeport.com

In 1825, Poinsettias or "Christmas Stars"  were brought to the United States by an amateur botanist and the first U. S. Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Robert Poinsett.  The legend of the poinsettias began in Mexico when Pepita had no gift for the Christ child.  Her cousin Pedro suggested a humble gift.  Pepita gathered some weeds on her way to church, and as she approached the altar, the weeds blossomed into beautiful flowers.  The Flores de Noche Buena ---Flowers of the Holy Night--- were considered a miracle.  Presently, December 12 is observed as National Poinsettia Day in the United States, an official day to enjoy this symbol of holiday cheer.  
Poinsettias are one of the longest lasting blooming plants available.  There are over 100 different varieties cultivated.  To keep your poinsettia perfectly blooming, follow these care tips:
  • Pick a plant with small, tightly clustered buds in the center.
  • Look for crisp, bright, undamaged foliage.
  • When surface soil is dry to the touch, water thoroughly, discarding any excess water in the saucer.
  • To prolong color, keep a temperature range of 60 degrees for night and 72 degrees for day.  High humidity is preferable.
  • Place plants away from hot or cold drafts, and protect from cold winds.
Contrary to popular belief, the yuletide plants are NOT poisonous.  Research trials at Ohio State University revealed that a pet or child would need to ingest more than 500 leaves to become seriously ill.  With that said, as with any non-food product, the poinsettia is not meant to be eaten and can cause varying degrees of discomfort.  Therefore, the plants should be kept out of the reach of young children and curious pets.  

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