Nothing says the holidays like a poinsettia. This year, try some new ways to display this festive plant.
Poinsettias are available in a variety of colors including white, pink, hot pink, yellow, peach, marbled and speckled. These colorful parts of the plant, often referred to as flowers, are actually modified leaves called bracts. The real flowers are small, yellow and appear at the tip of the stem surrounded by the bract.
Look for new places to display your poinsettia. Place a plant on a side or serving table. Remove the foil and set the plant in a decorative container. Try a hot pink poinsettia in a white pot or several different colors set in a serving tray, basket or unique container. Add a table runner, candlestick, bowl of colorful fruit or other decorative touches.
Dress up individual or a group of poinsettias. White poinsettias donned with colorful berries, Chinese lantern pods and bobbles may be all you need for an eye-catching display.
Use poinsettias as a centerpiece for your holiday meals. Place several potted poinsettias in the middle of the table. Cover the plastic pots with greens. Then add some colorful pepper berries, cranberries, apples or ornaments.
Compact poinsettias such as the Princettia® poinsettia with its abundant vibrant flowers work well for this application. Your guests will be able to see across the table as they visit over dinner, enjoying the holiday ambience created by these beautiful plants.
Dress up each place setting with a cut poinsettia bloom. Simply cut the flowers off a potted poinsettia plant to the desired length. Place it in a floral water pick, the water-filled tubes used for cut flowers. Tuck the bloom into a napkin, set it in a small bud vase or add a ribbon to dress it up. They make great party favors for your guests.
Look for other ways to include these in your holiday décor. Even one cut poinsettia flower set among a bowl of silver, gold or white ornaments adds a nice holiday touch. Set a few cut flowers aside to use as unique package adornments. Just secure the flower, floral pick and all, with a colorful ribbon to the gift.
Use cut poinsettia flowers in a vase like you would other blooms. Even one of these large blossoms puts on quite the display and is sure to brighten even the smallest of rooms.
Combine your poinsettia with a few greens and other flowers. Quickly sear the cut end of the poinsettia stems to prevent the sticky sap from leaking into the water. Dress up your arrangement by filling the vase with cranberries, small ornaments or other colorful adornments.
While enjoying your holidays, a discussion on the proper pronunciation of the plant's name may arise. Some say Poinsett-a and don't pronounce the second i. Others include it and say Poinsett-e-a? You will find both pronunciations in various dictionaries. In other words, either one is considered correct, so no one loses this debate.
These colorful plants are sure to brighten your spirits throughout the holiday season, so be sure to make some space for a few poinsettia displays.
Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including "The Midwest Gardener's Handbook" and "Small Space Gardening." She hosts the Great Courses' "How to Grow Anything" DVD series and the syndicated "Melinda's Garden Moment" program on TV and radio.