Selecting & Caring for Poinsettias

poinsettia flowers
Poinsettia flowers
Bodie Pennisi, University of Georgia,

Millie Davenport
Home & Garden Information Center

Poinsettias are a classic holiday plant used to decorate the home from November to December. When South Carolinian Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, introduced the poinsettia to the United States in 1825, it’s doubtful he had any idea how popular this plant would become.

Poinsettias have brightly colored bracts (modified leaves) that are often called flowers. However, the true flowers of the poinsettia are very small and found in the center of the colorful bracts. When kept in an ideal environment, poinsettias will hold their brightly colored bracts for months. For selection and care of poinsettias, see HGIC 1561, Poinsettia.

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.