Poinsettias are a holiday staple, brightening our winter days and bringing cheery color to drab interiors. There are more poinsettia plant varieties then just the classic red. Put pink, red, fuchsia, yellow, purple, and white on your mental paintbrush and then color, splatter and dot until you come up with all the possible combinations of poinsettia plant types. The imagination is almost the limit on these designer plants. A new, exciting variety is released nearly every year, with different poinsettia varieties to suit any taste.
Different Poinsettia Varieties
It is a funny irony that poinsettia plants are native to Mexico's warm climate but we use them as a celebratory item during our coldest month. However this came to pass, poinsettias are here to stay as indicators of the holiday season. Today, you are not just stuck with the regular old red varieties but can choose from a nearly limitless array of colors and textures. Even the big box stores carry a wide variety of poinsettia plant varieties that can get you on your way to celebrating this special time of year. Once upon a time you could only find the classic red poinsettia for purchase, but today there are over 100 varieties available. They vary in "bloom" form, number of blooms, pattern on leaves, and size. There are those where the colored bracts that form the flower aspect are curved and double in number from traditional poinsettias, giving a rose-like appearance. There are diminutive one foot tall plants and huge varieties that will get up to 3 feet (1 m.) in height. The possible markings on both leaf and bract boggle the mind. Splatter marks, variegated ghostly white smudges, water spots, and many other markings may be found on the leaves or bracts. Monet is a classic example of the spotted leaf variety with several tones of pink bracts, dotted with white. There are plants with 2 or 3 colors of bracts and even one, Ice Punch, which starts out red and turns white as it matures.
Choosing Types of Poinsettia Plants
A truly amazing poinsettia display simply relies upon a variety of types of poinsettia plants. Start simple and choose an array of different colors for a knock out flurry of tones with riotous impact. There are white, red, soft pink, bright pink, maroon, green, purple, and even yellow varieties. Once you have color managed, you can graduate to bract form. The bract is what we perceive as the flower, although the flowers are actually tiny, yellow, and insignificant. Bract edges come ruffled, fluted, curled and regular. Ready for some real fun? Opt for poinsettia plant types with highlighted bracts and leaves or random spotting. Size may be a consideration, so look for dwarf varieties or, if you want a real statement, there are forms that grow as mini trees. The number of bracts in some of the different poinsettia varieties may be twice the traditional species, outshining the old strain with brilliant blooms.
- A traditional take on the poinsettia, Holly Point, has red flower bracts but variegated foliage that acts as a perfect foil for the colorful blooms.
- If you are a color fanatic, try a really unique cultivar called Tri-Color. This amazing plant has 3 colors of bracts - red, white and pink.
- Plum Pudding is the first really purple kind of poinsettia but Prestige Maroon has deep, velvety maroon bracts with dusky loveliness.
- Vision of Grandeur has both soft pink and white leaves, plus green iced with white. It is a romantic plant perfect for a country Christmas.
- Lemon drop is as yellow as its name suggests.
- The new curled leaf category should start with Winter Rose Red. The flower bracts are thick and curved, mimicking the appearance of a double petaled rose. Dramatic mottled leaves add drama to these beautiful plants.
- Jingle Bells is a form with red bracts dotted with creamy pink. There are even forms marbled with white, pink or yellow.
- And let’s not overlook the wild poinsettia plant. This unique looking dwarf poinsettia cousin can offer something a little different to the landscape.
The holidays are the time to surround yourself with beauty and peace, which is easy to do with the sheer number of elegant poinsettia available to the casual or eclectic gardener.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
8 Ideas For Decorating With Poinsettias This Holiday Season
When you’re decorating with poinsettias, consider experimenting with different varieties and fun holiday ideas.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Published
How To Pick A Perfectly Ripe Watermelon
Pick the the ripe watermelon from the bunch every time.
By Amy Grant Published