As the holidays approach, we find poinsettias decorating porches and religious sanctuaries. National Poinsettia Day celebrates the best-selling potted plant in the U.S.
When is National Poinsettia Day?
December 12th is National Poinsettia Day.
What is National Poinsettia Day?
Poinsettias have strong connections with Christmas. In their native Mexico, poinsettias adorn the streets and homes in honor of Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe, which occurs on December 12th.
The poinsettia first came to the States in 1825 when the first U.S. Minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, sent cuttings for planting at his Charleston, South Carolina home. December 12th is, incidentally, also the date of Poinsett’s death.
The U.S. House of Representatives created poinsettia day in 2002 in honor of the poinsettia industry and its greatest contributor, Paul Ecke, Jr. He figured out how to get poinsettias to branch into numerous heads instead of growing a single tall stem.
National Poinsettia Day History:
The House of Representatives in 2002 created Poinsettia Day to honor the father of the poinsettia industry, Paul Ecke. The date of December 12 marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, the man responsible for bringing the plant to the United States.
Fun facts about National Poinsettia Day:
- The flowers of a poinsettia are yellow. The brilliant red color comes from their leaves, which turn red when the flowers blossom.
- Poinsettias are not toxic. That myth arose from an urban legend that developed in the early 1900s about a small child who ate a leaf and died.
- Growers sell 34 million poinsettias every year, almost a quarter of all potted plant sales.
- How to celebrate National Poinsettia Day:
- Purchase a poinsettia (or several) for your home. Be sure to buy them with unopened buds.
- Research how to care for your poinsettias to ensure the maximum duration of that festive red color.