14 Most Popular Types Of Poinsettias From Around The World Update 12/2021

types of poinsettias

Poinsettias are one of the most popular plants found in holiday celebrations, and they come in a variety of shapes and colors. In this article, we’ll explore the types of poinsettias and some of their characteristics.

Characteristics of Poinsettias

Poinsettias are actually flowering plants, and they stem from a plant called Euphorbia pulcherrima. Commonly known as the Christmas Star for its distinctive red coloration and five-pointed star shape, more than 400 varieties of poinsettia exist today. They range in size from 1″ to 4′ in height, and from 2 inches to 18 inches in diameter. They can be found in a variety of colors including red, salmon pink, white, yellow or lime green.

Poinsettias may be single-stemmed or branched with many small flowers on each stem. Their flower petals are typically pointed upwards. The stems are two-toned, typically green with red or yellow stripes.

Poinsettias thrive best in warm weather, generally preferring temperatures between 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C). Temperatures below 55°F or 12°C result in poor flowering.

They prefer to be watered regularly and should not dry out. These tropical plants are more sensitive to frost than other garden plants. While they can survive down to 10°F (-12°C), below this temperature, the leaves will begin to turn brown and fall off, but the plant itself will survive until spring when it will produce a new set of leaves.

Types of Poinsettias

Boston poinsettia

Boston poinsettia

The Boston poinsettia is a variation of the Mexican fire poinsettia that features narrower leaves, typically green with red or yellow stripes. These plants also produce bright red flowers.

Boston poinsettias are often used in floral arrangements because they have thin stems and small flowers, allowing them to be placed into glasses or vases without taking up too much space.

Boston poinsettias are typically larger than Mexican fire varieties, reaching from 8 to 12 inches in diameter and 16 to 18 inches in height. They thrive when planted outdoors or in planters, but they do not thrive well indoors. They need a lot of light and warmth (65°F/18°C) to grow and bloom, as well as high humidity.

Poinsettia ‘Susie Q’

The poinsettia ‘Susie Q’ is a variety of poinsettias that was created by crossing Mexican fire and Boston varieties. It has full, heavily branched stems that produce small flowers. The leaves are green with red or yellow stripes and grow to 3 inches long, often curling upwards. This plant typically grows from 12 to 18 inches tall.

Poinsettia is easy to take care of – watering them regularly and keeping them warm. They do well indoors in brightly lit areas where they can receive a few hours of sun each day without freezing temperatures. If you live in a colder climate, growing poinsettias outdoors may be an option if there is no danger of freezing temperatures.

Poinsettia ‘Harmony’

Poinsettia 'Harmony'

In 1999, the poinsettia ‘Harmony’ was named in honor of Hillary Rodham Clinton and her work with children. The leaves of this variety are typically dark red or flushed with pink. It features relatively upright flower stalks that produce white petals interspersed with red markings near the flowers center.

The flowers are typically red, pink or white in color and grow on single stalks that emerge from the center of the plant. The Mexican fire poinsettia is one of the easiest varieties to grow.

The flowers are on single stalks that emerge from the center of the plant, and each flower typically features a red or reddish-orange coloration. Each flower may also feature streaks or blotches in shades of pink, white or red.

Dwarf poinsettia

Also known as the “dwarf Mexican,” this variety features relatively small leaves that often retain a dark red color throughout the holiday season.

The flowers grow on single stalks and usually feature streaks of vibrant pink or creamy-white near their centers. Like many other varieties of poinsettia, the flowers are typically red, pink or white in color and grow on single stalks that emerge from the center of the plant. The Mexican fire poinsettia is one of the easiest varieties to grow.

The dwarf poinsettia can be difficult to find in local stores, but it is a simple variety to grow indoors or in a greenhouse. It typically does not grow larger than eight inches tall, and the flowers are often red, pink or white in color and grow on single stalks that emerge from the center of the plant. The Mexican fire poinsettia is one of the easiest varieties to grow.

The leaves are usually dark green but will turn a bright red or yellow-orange color in the winter, when the plant ceases to produce new flowers.

Starburst poinsettia

The poinsettia starburst grows from 10 to 18 inches tall. It is a relatively new variety, first introduced in 1990. The leaves of this plant are typically dark green with red or yellow stripes and grow to 3 inches long, often curling upward. This variety usually produces flowers that feature white petals edged with streaks of red near the flowers center.

Poinsettia starburst is one of the easiest varieties to grow, and it typically does not require a lot of work. It can be easily grown in standard potting soil and watered regularly during its growing season, which lasts from May until September or October.

Christmas poinsettia

Christmas poinsettia

The Christmas poinsettia is found in grocery and flower stores every year during the holiday season. The leaves are more pointed than those of other varieties, and they feature red or reddish-orange coloration.

The leaves are somewhat triangular in shape and feature dark red or reddish-orange coloration. Poinsettia Christmas is one of the most popular varieties, as it comes into season during the holiday season and can be purchased at grocery stores, flower shops and other places where floral decorations are sold.

The flowers typically grow on single stalks that emerge from the center of the plant and usually feature a bright red coloration, although white varieties are available.

Poinsettia bracteata

Poinsettia bracteata, also known as the Hawaiian Christmas Flower or O`ahu red poinsettia, is native to the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It features distinctive horizontal green-and-white leaves spotted with purple. The stems are typically bright red and emerge from a cone-shaped yellow base, but other color patterns exist.

Hawaiian poinsettias contain a wide range of toxic substances, and should not be eaten. They require warm temperatures and high humidity to thrive, though they can withstand nighttime temperatures as cold as 50°F (10°C). However, below 40°F/4°C the leaves may begin to turn brown, but the plant itself will survive until spring when it will produce a new set of leaves.

A newer cultivar is Eva Green, which features bright soft green and yellow stripes on the leaves, as well as red stems. It is tropical and needs to stay warm to thrive, so it is best suited for outdoor growing.

Butterfly poinsettia

The butterfly poinsettia features a coloration that is almost entirely yellow-green, with some red around the edges of the leaves. This variety can be difficult to find, as it is not typically sold commercially. It grows best at temperatures between 65 and 75°F (18 to 24°C) in low light conditions.

Flower form and leaf shape can vary widely from one plant to another, so it is important to keep this in mind when choosing the plants you want to grow.

If you are growing your poinsettias outside, they need to be planted in an area that receives full sun (at least six hours per day) with a well-draining soil and plenty of space for the plant to grow. They should be spaced between 18 inches and 2 feet apart, depending on the variety you choose to grow.

Mexican fire poinsettia

Mexican fire poinsettia

The Mexican fire poinsettia is the most popular variety of poinsettia, found in grocery and flower stores every year during the holiday season. The leaves are more pointed than those of other varieties, and they feature red or reddish-orange coloration.

The flowers are typically red, pink or white in color and grow on single stalks that emerge from the center of the plant. The Mexican fire poinsettia is one of the easiest varieties to grow.

The leaves are often used as floral decorations and, if left attached to the plant after it stops producing new flowers in winter, will turn a bright red or yellow-orange color. Although the leaves are often used as decorations, they do sting when touched.

Bali Poinsettia

The Bali poinsettia is a very fragrant variety of poinsettia, with flowers that are generally red or reddish-orange in color. It can grow to be up to 3 feet (1 m) tall and has large single flowers on each stem.

The Bali variety is widely used as a cut flower, and the leaves are very decorative. The red coloration comes from anthocyanin, which makes it more difficult to grow than most other types of poinsettia plants, but the resulting coloration is well worth it!

Bali poinsettias prefer temperatures between 65 and 75°F (18 to 24°C) and a well-draining soil. They should be spaced between 18 inches and 2 feet apart, depending on the variety you choose to grow.

 Korean poinsettia

The Korean poinsettia features leaves that are more upright than other varieties of poinsettias with deep green coloration and red around the edges of the leaves. The flowers are small and grow in clusters on long stems.

This flower is often used as a decoration because of its long lasting blooms, but it has been known to cause skin irritation when touched or ingested (possible allergic reaction).

The Korean poinsettia is a small, slow-growing plant that prefers a well-draining soil and temperatures between 55 to 60°F (12 to 16°C). It is best planted in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.

The flowers are bright red and generally grow on single stalks. The leaves are deep green with pointed tips, and they are often used as floral decorations because of their long lasting blooms.

Chinese poinsettia

Chinese poinsettia

The Chinese poinsettia features leaves that are larger and less pointed than those of other varieties. The flowers are usually red or reddish-orange in color, often growing on single stalks from the center of the plant, but they can also be white or pink.

Unlike most other poinsettias, the Chinese variety has a single large flower on each stem, making it a very attractive decoration.

This type of poinsettia grows quickly and prefers warm temperatures (up to 95°F [35°C]). It is best planted in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day.

Candle Flame poinsettia

The candle flame is one of the most popular types among collectors and hobbyists, featuring leaves that have a flame-like edge and bright red flowers. The flower is usually red or orange in color.

The candle flame poinsettia is often described as the most beautiful of all varieties, but it also has some disadvantages: It grows slowly and does not withstand cold temperatures well.

Since the candle flame variety is more difficult to grow than others, many people choose to purchase it as a poinsettia plant rather than starting from seed. It is also more likely to develop viruses that affect other varieties.

The candle flame poinsettia grows best in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and prefers warmer temperatures (between 60 and 85°F [16 to 29°C]). The soil should be well drained and kept moist at all times.

Bouquet poinsettia

The bouquet poinsettia is a type that is widely used as an indoor plant trinket because of its long lasting blooms and beautiful leaves. This variety features large clusters of bright red or orange flowers on single stalks.

Since the bouquet poinsettia is considered a non-toxic plant, it can be handled without gloves, although there are some reports of skin irritation for some people; this varies from person to person and may depend on the cultivar you purchase.

Tiny leaves surround the flowers and extend downwards from the stem.

The bouquet poinsettia is often associated with weddings, so it is an excellent choice for anyone looking to use a flowering plant as part of their wedding décor. Bouquet varieties are susceptible to several viruses that affect other types of poinsettias; however, if your plants are healthy and free of disease, they can be expected to live from one to two weeks.

The bouquet poinsettia grows best in warm (between 60 and 80°F [16 to 27°C]) temperatures. The soil should be well drained and kept moist at all times.

FAQs

– “My poinsettia’s leaves look wilted. Why does this happen, and what can I do to prevent it?”

Poinsettias have very shallow roots, so they are susceptible to over-watering.  Wilting is a sure sign your plant needs more water. The leaves should be firm and plump. Leaves that are limp and droopy may be dying, so take action immediately!

Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to gently remove any insect eggs from the leaf surface (they look like small grains of sand).

– “My poinsettia is turning brown. Is it losing its leaves?”

New growth and old foliage will drop over time, which is normal; however, if a mature leaf turns completely brown or looks diseased, remove it from the plant immediately!  This may be an early sign of infection. Plant viruses can spread quickly in a poinsettia.

Poinsettias are susceptible to several viruses that can cause leaf drop and stunting, so check your plant often for signs of infection.  If you notice any signs of dropping leaves or discolored areas, look for insect eggs and remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Poinsettias prefer warm temperatures (between 60 and 85°F [16 to 29°C]), so place them in a sunny area during the day but move them out of direct sunlight at night. Make sure the soil is well drained, and keep it moist at all times.

– What is the best way to water my poinsettia?

It is important to water your plant at the base of its stem. Water should drain freely from the bottom, and you should not allow the potting soil on top of your plant or around its roots to dry out.  Watering daily will result in new flowers and a healthy, beautiful plant.

Poinsettia should not be fertilized while they are blooming. Feeding the plants in late summer or early fall will give them a boost in preparation for next year.

Allow your poinsettia to rest before digging it up; wait until new growth has appeared and the leaves have unfurled.

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