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Celebrating The Poinsettia

Mexican Legend behind the Poinsettia

With its bright red and green star shaped foliage, Poinsettias are one of the most widely used decorations of the Christmas season. The plants are native to Central America where they bloom during the winter months. In Mexico and Guatemala, the plants are known as, “Flores de Noche Buena”, or “Flower of the Holy Night.” According to an old Mexican legend, the poinsettia became connected with Christmas when a poor girl name Pepita had no gift to give the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve service. On her way to the chapel, Pepita picked a handful of weeds which she turned into a small bouquet. When she laid the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene, the weeds burst into bright red flowers and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle.

How the Poinsettia Got its Name

Botanically the plant is known as Euphorbia pulcherrima, but it came to be known as the Poinsettia because of Joel Roberts Poinsett. Poinsett was a botanist, a physician, and the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. In 1828, Poinsett sent the cuttings of plant to his home in Charleston, S.C. where he began propagating them and sending them to friends and botanical gardens.

National Poinsettia Day is December 12th, the day that marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett and also happens to coincide with the holiday season for which Poinsettias are notably recognized in the United States. Coincidentally, in Mexico, December 12th is the day of the Virgin where Poinsettia’s are display each year.

This National Poinsettia Day give your Poinsettia’s some extra love by treating them with Hydretain.  Hydretain will reduce wilt and cut back on how often you have to water to keep your Poinsettias looking great all season long.