Many poinsettias in shades of red pink and white
(Image credit: Goroda)

In their native range, poinsettia plants grow into large, colorful shrubs. Though these growing conditions cannot be met by the vast majority of gardeners, there is another option for those who wish to grow this highly attractive, frost-tender plant. Over 30 million poinsettia plants are sold each year in the United States. This makes it among the best selling seasonal potted plants. As demand for this plant continues to rise, so too does the desire for the creation of new and exciting cultivars.

Rather than the production of flowers, poinsettias are actually known for their highly attractive, colorful bracts. Throughout late fall and early winter, potted poinsettia plants are commonplace at retailers, specifically throughout the holiday season. Though red poinsettias are considered to be the most traditional type, new visually-interesting cultivars offer their growers a much wider range of options in terms of color and pattern. In this article we will explore several different types of poinsettias that are likely to be available this season.

Red Poinsettias - Red poinsettias are popular for good reason. With their deeply saturated color, these plants are known to provoke festive feelings and spread holiday cheer. In striking contrast, the vibrant red bracts serve as an attractive compliment to the plant’s small, yellow flowers. Though there are several popular varieties of red poinsettia, some of the most commonly available cultivars are ‘Dramatic Red,’ ‘Freedom Red,’ ‘Infinity Red,’ and ‘Mirage.’

Pink Poinsettias - Many consumers have grown to prefer pink poinsettias to red. These varieties generally range in color from bright magenta to softer, pastel shades. Due to their subtle color, pink poinsettia types are often enjoyed throughout the winter months, in addition to the holiday season. Some of the most beautiful varieties of pink poinsettia include ‘Christmas Beauty Nostalgia,’ ‘Santa Claus Pink,’ Enduring Pink,’ and ‘Visions of Grandeur.’

Variegated Poinsettias - Variegated poinsettia types are celebrated for their unique, patterned bracts. These plants can range greatly in color but are generally seen in shades of red, white, and pink. Patterns can also vary but usually include those which are mottled, speckled, or even marbled in appearance. Commonly available varieties of variegated poinsettia include ‘Ice Punch,’ ‘Marble Star,’ ‘Sonora White Glitter,’ and ‘Winter Rose Marble.’

White Poinsettias - Though white may not seem as exciting as some other colors of poinsettia, they are beloved for their pristine hue and clean appearance. These attributes contribute to the plant’s overall elegant, modern look. White poinsettias are ideal for a wide range of holiday celebrations and are able to fit into most any décor. Bright white varieties of poinsettias include ‘Classic White,’ ‘Freedom White,’ ‘Merry White,’ and ‘Polar Bear.’

Yellow/Green Poinsettias - Though yellowing of leaves is often a sign of distress in plants, this is not the case with poinsettias. Yellow and green varieties of poinsettia can add a touch of exciting flair to home décor. Yellow and green poinsettias may be among the most unique modern cultivars available to growers. These varieties include ‘Candy Wintergreen,’ ‘Golden Glo,’ ‘Gold Rush,’and ‘Green Envy.’

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel