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Natures Antidote to the Winter Blahs Want to color up those dull December days Look no further than poinsettias natures antidote to those winter blahs Elegant and unusual with bracts fanning over emerald foliage Euphorbia Pulcherrima as it is known scientifically not only displays seasonal drama but is one the most decorative plants year round They adorn tables fireplaces hallways and yuletide arrangements and many other holiday displays Harvested by the Aztecs for their dye poinsettias were originally brought to the United States by the Mexican Ambassador Joel Poinsett in the 1820s which they are named after In many tropical countries like Mexico and my native country of Puerto Rico they grow like bushes Today more than 80 million poinsettias are sold in our country during winter months Breeders have played around with their bract colors and can now be found in several colors that include creams pinks ambers as well as the traditional red Intriguing variations continue to hit the market each year from the paintbrush-splotched varieties to curly bracts and ruffled leaves this plant continues to be a crowd pleaser Despite their reputation for being poisonous studies indicate the milky sap may irritate eyes if accidentally touched but they are not poisonous So dont worry about having these plants around small children or pets they are not dangerous So you see there is no reason not to try these decorative scarlet beauties I suggest you buy a few in the coming season and try to keep them until the following Christmas like I do Poinsettias can be propagated at home but I advise to buy several of them to start When buying them check for any diseases or insects like whiteflies on the underside of the leaves Check for well watered plants whose leaves and bracts are vibrant and erect Upon bringing them home in late November or December make sure to place in
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