The Paul Ecke Ranch is the world’s largest and most successful poinsettia breeder. They started growing and breeding the poinsettia almost 100 years ago. I wonder how many people realize the poinsettia is actually native to Mexico? We think of it as a December plant, not realizing it actually prefers a warm and tropical climate. What I didn’t realize is that the plant was brought to the US in the early 1800s by Joel Roberts Poinsett. There is a wonderful history written out on the Paul Ecke Poinsettia website which I would recommend reading if you are interested in learning more about how the plant was developed for the US floral trade.
Check out this great video for more from the Paul Ecke Ranch:
How to Choose the Right Poinsettia
~Select poinsettias with strong stems, and no signs breakage or wilting. Look for plants with and abundance of healthy, green foliage.
~Bracts should be thoroughly colored with no green edges around the bract edges.
~The presence of tight yellow cyathia (cluster of flowers) in the center of the bracts is an indication that a poinsettia is fresh. Ideally, there shouldn’t be too much pollen present on the cyathia.
~Examine the poinsettia’s soil; if the soil appears wet or waterlogged yet the poinsettia is wilted it may be an indication of an irreversible root rotting disease.
~When transporting your poinsettia protect it from temperatures below 50º F. Placing your poinsettia in a large, roomy shopping bag will protect the plant from damaging wind and cold.