La Flor de Nochebuena (Poinsettias)
We are used to seeing Poinsettias only at Christmas in US and Canada but Poinsettias are indigenous to Mexico. They started here and grow like crazy outside. In a short time, you can have a ten-foot-tall plant in your garden and more next year.
Around thanksgiving, you will see viveros(plant nurseries) full of the beautiful plants in all colors and variations. Los Pinos has an amazing selection, some for every budget with and tents of the beautiful plants, red, white, pink and variegated. They also sell to hotels so it is worth a trip just to see the display.
So once you take them home, don’t discard them but plant them in your Yucatan Garden.
Follow these suggestions for beautiful color every year:
- Be sure you buy plants that have been grown locally and not in a greenhouse and shipped in. To plant outside, the plants must be used to the weather or the shock will damage them. Some chain stores, like Home Depot, bring in lots of flowers but they are not taken care of and not used to the outside. Most are grown in controlled green houses. Pretty to look at but if you want to plant the flower after Christmas, do not buy there. Los Pinos Vivero on north side of Playa has not let us down.
- Plant them in a sunny location protected from strong winds that can break the delicate stems.
- Look for slightly acid soil or add amenities to the soil. Old Tree bark and jungle dirt will work.
- Be sure the plant is well drained or it will get root rot.
- If you have kept the plant inside, once you are ready to plant your poinsettia after Christmas, if some leaves have died, prune back to two buds or more depending on the size of the plant.
- When the leaves start growing, water and feed the plant. In the spring, pinch the new growth back to make it bushier. The cycles of the light and dark in Fall will cause the plant to have the color you want.
- Remember the plants can grow ten feet tall so allow room and enjoy them next year.