I was today years old when I found out Poinsettias flowers aren’t flowers but colored leaves!.
Poinsettia plant (Euphorbia Pulcherrima) is a native plant of Mexico and is the most popular holiday plant, especially during Christmas.
Because of its bright red and green colors, it is used as decoration ornaments at Christmas celebrations.
An urban myth about Poinsettia is that it is highly poisonous, but in reality, it is mildly toxic and offers benefits.
Generally, Poinsettia is an efficient air purifier while adding fiery-red aesthetic beauty to the room. Their vibrant looks and cultural significance bring good luck and joy. Additionally, its sap has depilatory properties and can be used to remove hair.
Also, there are some stories behind the use of Poinsettia on holidays.
To learn more about the Poinsettia Plant and its benefits, let’s dig deeper.
Table of Contents
- Poinsettia Plant Overview
- 6 Amazing Poinsettia Plant Benefits
- Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
- Where to Buy Poinsettia?
Poinsettia Plant Overview
The Poinsettia plant makes an excellent choice as an indoor plant because of its air-purifying properties, gorgeous looks, and holiday vibes along with good luck.
Another interesting fact about the Poinsettia plant is we can influence the blooming of the Poinsettia plant by keeping the plant in controlled darkness of daylight.
Poinsettia plants blooming is relative to the duration of daylight they receive, hence called a short-day plant.
The Poinsettia plant is an ideal option as an indoor plant if you’re living in a cold climatic region.
When the weather starts being harsh to the plant, it’s time to convert it into an indoor plant.
Especially when the bracts or the leaves start to fade or defoliate, you need to know it’s the perfect time to take it inside.
After the Poinsettia blossom, it produces a tiny capsule that splits after getting ripe to release numerous seeds.
It has other names such as the Lobster flower and the Flame-leaf flower because of its vibrant red color.
Another interesting fact about the Poinsettia plant is that you can paint the color of the Poinsettia plant as per your requirement to match your holiday decor.
These beautiful, brilliant crimson, pointed leaves plant is relatively easier to keep alive. However, you might find it a little bit difficult getting them to rebloom.
To properly care for your Poinsettia, try to fulfill the following criteria below.
|Light||Bright, indirect sunlight (6 hrs each day)|
|Water||You should water your Poinsettia when the top 50% of soil is dry.|
|Temperature||65°F to 70°F during day
60°F to 65°F during night
not below than 55°F
|Fertilizer||A water-soluble either 15-0-15, 15-16-17, 20-10-20|
|Repotting||Late spring to early summer|
|Humidity||Poinsettias enjoy humidity between 50% – 75% ambient humidity.|
|Toxicity||A mildly toxic plant|
|Potting Mix||One part perlite or vermiculite and two parts organic matter like peat moss or sterile compost is appropriate.|
|Pruning||Prune twice a year, first in the spring and again in late summer.|
|Lifespan||One or two years|
|Common Pests||Whiteflies, Fungus Gnats, Thrips, Shoreflies and Spider mites|
6 Amazing Poinsettia Plant Benefits
The false myth about Poinsettia is slowly getting clear with the advancement of research studies. And its benefits are surfacing little by little.
So, without further ado, let’s learn about the benefits of the Poinsettia plant.
1. Poinsettia as Air Purifier
If we ask ourselves about the main reasons and sources for air pollution, we immediately think about industries, vehicles, and burning coal.
However, indoor air is as toxic as outdoor air. What could be the ultimate solution for it?
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, bringing some indoor plants can reduce air toxicity.
The Poinsettia plant is among those plants with air-purifying properties. The Poinsettia cleanses the air pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia.
Its leaves are broad and green, which can absorb old air grains, and carbon dioxide in the air, releasing oxygen and purifying the air.
Based on a recent study on the role of indoor plants in air purification, keeping indoor plants such as Poinsettia would help decontaminate the air.
So, Poinsettia plants are more valuable than just a festive decoration.
2. Poinsettia Enhances Interior Aesthetic
In most cases, we bring plants to make our room look lively and beautiful. And they certainly do their work.
The Poinsettia plant has vibrant, colorful large leaves with yellow clustered buds in the center. So, its joyful look adds essence to your room.
It typically has one or two stems and reaches a height of 10 to 12 feet, so you might want to place it along other smaller plants to compliment your decor.
Modern Poinsettia plants have larger leaves and smaller buds to make them look more attractive.
Being an ideal Christmas plant, the Poinsettia plant accounts for one-fifth of the sales of flowering potted plants.
So, you can imagine its dominance with popularity. It is an ideal plant for gifts during Christmas.
Poinsettia is an easy-to-grow plant with a bit of care and attention, so you might not even need to buy it next year.
Without needing to throw this festive plant, you can rebloom it next year, and while caring, it will elevate your room decor the whole year.
3. Poinsettia Bring Good Luck
Do you know that the brilliant color of the Poinsettia represents a symbol of purity?
Did you know? National Poinsettia Day is celebrated on December 12.
The Poinsettia is named after Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, who is the sole reason behind its popularity in the US.
He brought the Poinsettia plant and sent the flowers as a gift to his friends and family for good wishes.
If we look at the cultural significance of the Poinsettia plant, it is fascinating with different legends.
One of the beliefs explains Poinsettia leaves symbolize the star that led the wise men to the newborn Jesus.
The red leaves were a reminder of the blood of Christ shed during his crucifixion, and the white leaves represented Christ’s purity.
So, there is a belief that the Poinsettia plant brings good luck to the keeper.
4. Hair Removal Agent
Generally, when the sap of the Poinsettia plant is kept on the skin for a considerably longer time, it results in hair loss in that area.
A news article published in Daily Mail, UK, explains the Poinsettia plants sap has depilatory effects and can potentially wipe the area clean.
Additionally, the article suggests that the extracted sap from the Poinsettia plant can act as a hair removal cream.
However, the hair loss is not permanent, so don’t freak out if it accidentally gets on somewhere near the scalp, and wash it properly.
But wait, don’t throw it away just yet to avoid risk. Don’t worry; the sap is easily visible as it is milky white.
5. Traditional Benefits of Poinsettia
The Poinsettia plant is a native Mexican plant, and its use for medical purposes is traced back to the Aztec civilization and Mayans.
A research article published in the Floral Notes newsletter mentioned Aztecs and Mayans had a variety of aesthetic, practical, and medical uses for the Poinsettia plant.
Poinsettias have traditionally been used to treat skin conditions, warts, and toothaches; however, clinical studies to support these claims are lacking.
No recent clinical evidence supports specific poinsettia dosing in a therapeutic context.
Here are some traditional uses of Poinsettia.
- Milky white sap boosts milk production by applying it to women’s breasts.
- Depilatory property of sap, i.e., hair removal
- The Poinsettia plant has been used to treat various reproductive health issues, including gonorrhea, premature ejaculation, and impotence.
- Traditional healers use the sap to treat various skin issues, including pimples.
- Poinsettias have traditionally been used to treat diarrhea caused by microbes.
- Boiled bark and red bracts are medicine for obstetrical or gynecological hemorrhaging in women.
- Boiled root drink relieved the adverse effects of snakebites.
- Poinsettia was used to treat arthritis, muscle or bone contusions, and other ailments.
- Traditional folks use Poinsettia to eliminate worms and other parasitic organisms from the Gastro-Intestinal tract.
- It was used to treat warts.
- Poinsettia infusions are thought to be beneficial for respiratory diseases such as colds, coughs, throat sores, bronchitis, and heart disease.
- Poinsettia latex has traditionally been used as a toothache remedy and an anti-vomiting agent.
6. Claimed Medicinal Benefits
The latest research studies on the health benefits of the Poinsettia plants’ are being analyzed because of their traditional popularity.
Based on the paper published in Hindawi, the flavonoid constituents of the Poinsettia plant showed an effective analgesic effect.
Furthermore, the research also stated that Poinsettia consists of curative properties such as analgesic potency, antipyretic potency, anti-inflammatory potency, sedation and antidepressant potential, and the cure of diseases such as skin diseases.
Also, a screening test of the Poinsettia plant brought to light its muscle relaxant properties and was found effective over time.
Additionally, the researchers from Nepal studied the neuropharmacological profile of the Poinsettia plant and suggested its anticonvulsant properties.
It shows the potential use of the Poinsettia plant to treat or control convulsions, as in epilepsy.
In terms of its anti-parasitic property, the African Journal of Biotechnology had a paper stating its effectiveness as an anti-parasitic agent along with Euphorbia Milli.
The article published in the National Library of Medicine suggested anti-glycation and phosphodiesterase inhibitory activities.
It means that they protect your skin, so it maintains its elasticity and skin tone uniformity.
These important properties provide a solid scientific base for the traditional use of Poinsettia in the treatment of various diseases.
Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
There is an existing urban myth about the Poinsettia plant being highly poisonous.
In the 19th century, the 2-year-old son of an army officer was dead near a Poinsettia bush in Hawaii.
Even though no autopsy or toxicology tests were to blame for Poinsettia, people believed the plant killed the child. And hence, the circulation of myth took off.
In contrast, the study about toxicity of Poinsettia showed that it is not deadly toxic at all.
American Association of Poison Control Centers stated that over 22,000 children ate Poinsettia leaves.
It showed that most children did not need any health care facilities, and some did not even show any symptoms.
However, there is currently insufficient scientific evidence to determine an appropriate range of doses for Poinsettia.
Although Poinsettia may not have fatal side effects, one should be aware of them.
Poinsettia may harm children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people with digestive disorders. If you have any of these conditions, avoid using them.
It is crucial to always seek medical advice before consuming such plants.
Based on the research, in case of ingestion by our furry pets, the Poinsettia plant causes minor gastrointestinal irritation including nausea, vomiting and hypersalivation.
Meanwhile, people with latex allergies may get rashes if they come in contact with the Poinsettia plant or its sap.
According to recent studies, ASPCA suggests that Poinsettia is mildly toxic to pets irritating the mouth and stomach.
Even if the Poinsettia has no life-threatening effects, it’s still a better choice to keep them out of reach of children and pets, don’t you think?
Where to Buy Poinsettia?
Being one of the ideal festive plants, the Poinsettia plants can be found in many stores. Some of them are listed below.
|Target||Delivers within 3-5 business days|
|Trees||Ships within few days|
|Town and Country||Ships immediately|
The Poinsettia plant’s popularity is thriving regardless of its existing false legends.
With its fiery red, white, and green color leaves, the Poinsettia plant elevates your room decor while emitting positive vibes with its good luck charm.
Remember, you can rebloom Poinsettia with a bit of care and attention, so don’t be too quick to throw it.