Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a deciduous shrub native to Central America and can become a 10' tree in its native habitat, although we are more familiar with it as a decorative house plant during the holiday season.

Poinsettias became associated with Christmas because of a legend that tells of a child too poor to have a gift to offer Jesus on Christmas Eve. An angel tells her that any gift when given with love is a treasure, and so she picks a handful of weeds from the roadside to place at the church alter. Crimson blossoms appeared and the weeds became poinsettias. This festive plant is now available in reds, whites, pinks and salmons.

To care for your plant, place it in a sunny location and water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Poinsettias do not like to sit in water, so if you have a dish or foil wrapper under the plant make sure to empty it after watering. Protect your plant from cool drafts and heating vents. Ideally, place your poinsettia in a location with a consistent temperature between 15 – 22 degrees Celsius.