Pender Gardener: Poinsettia is the most popular flowering plant sold in the U.S.


Visit a local garden center to discover the many varieties of poinsettias that are available to brighten your holidays.

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Published: Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 16:11 PM.

It’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate and consume a great deal of food. Time to hang the lights, decorate the Christmas tree and shop till we drop! Speaking of shopping, did you know the poinsettia is the most popular flowering plant sold in the United States, with more than 70 million sold nationwide each year? With work in the garden winding down and the dreary and cold days of winter upon us, what better way to spice up your life than with a poinsettia?

Poinsettia varieties

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the wide diversity of poinsettia varieties available you are missing out. You can find varieties that are speckled white and red, pink with a white edge, as well as solid colors including purple, cream, pink, and varying shades of red. Plant breeders’ attempts to develop a true white poinsettia have proved quite a challenge. Most of the white varieties you see available are closer to cream or off white in color. ‘Polar Bear’ is the closest to a true white currently available.

My problem when shopping for a poinsettia is which one to buy! I tend to go for the non-traditional varieties rather than the solid red types. Some of my favorites include Sonora White Glitter, Cortez Burgundy, Jingle Bells, Cinnamon Star, and Ice Punch. 

Selecting the right plant

To get the most out of your poinsettia, select plants that have an abundance of dark, rich green foliage all the way down the stem. Look for plants that are balanced, full, and attractive from all sides. Select durable plants with stiff stems, good bract and leaf retention, and no signs of wilting, breaking or drooping.

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