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Poinsettias in every color; even blue


Longtime readers of this blog will know that I have a love-hate relationship with poinsettias. I love them because they are one of the few plants that can bring some color into the house during these darkest days and because even if you do nothing else, a red poinsettia makes your house look holiday-ish. I sort of hate them because after Christmas I want them (and all the rest of my Christmas decorations) to just go away so I can get busy planning for spring (it’s a sickness). And then I’m forced to do things like this or this.

Apparently poinsettias, like so many other plants, are a hybridizer’s dream because there are certainly a variety of them to be found these days. The old days of red or white are long gone.
I swung by a local nursery last weekend and popped into their greenhouse to find a sea of poinsettias in almost every color.
A sea of poinsettias
In addition to the usual solid red, white and pink varieties, there were variations on red (burgundy) and the very dark-leaved on above. 
There was one that looked like it got in the way of one of my crazy spray-painting projects:
Red and white speckled poinsettia
This softly colored blush and cream one:
A darker, reversed version of that one with an almost coral color:
Salmon poinsettia
This one was a pinky red on the edges with a Pepto-Bismal pink center, but that’s not what I liked about it: 
red with pink center ponsettia -- The Impatient Gardener

Take a closer look. Do you see the cool accidental variation on that plant? One bract was split right down the center with red on one half and white on the other. I hope some smart hybridizer figures out how to isolate and stabilize that because that would be a very cool looking poinsettia.

Half red leaf, half white leaf poinsettia -- The Impatient Gardener
And then we get the most hideous of the offerings. The dyed blue poinsettia. Let’s just get this out in the world: no flower that is dyed blue is a good thing. Real blue flowers (Himalayan blue poppies and some delphiniums are the first that come to mind) are stunning treasures. This, not so much.
Blue poinsettia -- The Impatient Gardener

 My favorite of all the poinsettias I saw was this one, which manages to take just a tiny twist on the traditional with the variegated leaves.

Variegated leaf poinsettia -- The Impatient Gardener
Do you decorate with poinsettias? What do you do with them when the holidays are over? Are you a blatant plant killer like myself or are you overcome by guilt so that you actually keep the thing alive until spring? 
Want to test your knowledge about poinsettias? Take this little quiz on the favorite flower of the holiday season. I got one of them wrong. 

22 Responses

  1. My very favorites are the blue ones, came here to find out how to get blue ones!! But they’re all amazing, thanks for this article!

  2. I challenge myself to keep the plants alive and blooming in December. I received an awesomely healthy poinsettia 3 years ago. It continues to grow and bloom for me.

  3. Just because you don’t like blue and consider them “tacky” does not speak for everyone. I LOVE poinsettias and have them all over my house at Christmas. Yes, I keep them until they die (sometimes in July). I just put them outside. And I LOVE THE BLUE. They are not “tacky” at all. Everyone that sees it has positive comments and want to know where I got it Have given them as gifts and the recipients showed true joy. Don’t like pink or salmon or white. Red or Blue or variegated is for me.

  4. i just purchased a blue poinsettia for a friend because her favorite color is blue and she is going through a hard time right now. Now I feel embarrassed that I did it. no wonder I haven’t heard from her about it. she probably thinks it is tacky and likely feels the same towards me. thought I did something nice. guess I did something awful instead.

    1. Or maybe she’s just busy and hasn’t had time to thank you. I battled breast cancer most of 2019 and still owe lots of thank yous to people who encouraged me along the way.
      I walked into Lowe’s before Christmas and saw the most beautiful blue and cream poinsettia. I immediately put it in my cart. I don’t care that it’s dyed. It’s gorgeous and still looks healthy.

  5. Planted it outside. My neighbor has a gorgeously full poinsettia that is about 7 feet tall that changes back to bright red every year. It's truly breathtaking.

  6. Planted it outside. My neighbor has a gorgeously full poinsettia that is about 7 feet tall that changes back to bright red every year. It's truly breathtaking.

  7. I love the blue ones too because I celebrate Hanukkah, not Christmas. Where did you find them? I am having trouble finding them this year?

    1. Exactly! I have the same color scheme, and when I found a beautiful teal blue one at Meijer last winter, I was ecstatic. I generally don't like dyed flowers, but this was an exception I was thrilled to make. In fact, I have kitchen counter appliances in this shade of blue, so even after Christmas I was happy with it and sorry when it died.

  8. Oh, no, I love the blue ones!!! So pretty. But hate that they are artificially so. I found a site that claims there are naturally occurring blue ones, tho. Wonder if it's true. The blue ones would match with my blue house!

    1. Your eyes do not deceive you: There are indeed poinsettias in hanging baskets there. I can't imagine what the application of those is, but they must do well with them to have so many.

  9. I agree with you about the blue dyed flowers. I think this example of the poinsettia is the worst I've ever seen.

    What do I do with my poinsettias after Christmas. KILL THEM!!!! Like you, I can't wait for spring and the last thing I want in February is an old reminder of December. Looks like we have the same method – starve them to death. I usually put them in another room and try to forget about them. Funny, my husband must know this practice because I haven't had one given to me for a few years now.

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