Move Over Poinsettia, Here Comes the Princettia
One of the showiest plants I know, the poinsettia, was introduced to America by Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first American ambassador to Mexico.
An avid botanist, during his term in South America, he learned about the Cuitlarockitl (don’t ask me to pronounce that), a perennial bush that can grow up to fifteen feet. First discovered by the Aztecs, they used the sap as a fever reducer and the brachts for dye. Back home in North Carolina, Ambassador Poinsett, cultivated specimens and began sharing the beautiful red plant with friends as well as botanical gardens.
Today, the potted poinsettia is the most sold plant in the United States and Canada, contributing to over 250 million in sales revenue each year. Featuring a range of colors from salmon to speckled pink, there are over 100 varieties of poinsettias. One of latest varieties, the Princettia®, is demanding the attention of interiorscapers this holiday season.
Available in several vibrant pink shades, red, white and more, the Princettia® looks slightly different than the traditional poinsettia we are use to. While it is slightly shorter and more compact than a traditional poinsettia, its colorful bracts are smaller, thinner, and more bountiful.
POINSETTIA Care and Prevention
As far as maintenance, the Princettia® has the same requirements as its predecessor. Be sure to keep the moisture level high and even. Like I’ve mentioned in the past, I recommend using wicks systems or moisture retainers in the soil. This can dramatically save you both time and money. I also suggest treating the soil for fungus gnats before installing these plants inside your accounts. You risk infecting your entire interiorscape otherwise. Believe me, I used to box hundreds of poinsettias and the gnats can be unreal.
Because the poinsettia is associated with winter holidays, people often think they like cold weather. Remember these plants come from central Mexico and do much better in consistent warm temperatures away from drafts which isn’t always easy during the winter months.
Another common misconception is that ingesting poinsettias is deadly for pets and humans. While I don’t recommend letting your pet or baby eat one, Ohio State University proved a child would have to consume over 500 leaves in order for it to have any toxic effect. Although, it should be noted that the sap may irritate the skin of someone who has latex allergies. Trust me when I say that you may want to wear gloves and clothes you don’t care about if you are going to be handling hundreds of poinsettias, Princettias® or otherwise, this holiday season.
Featured image courtesy of Princettia.eu
Max White Princettia courtesy of Princettia.net