• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Euphorbia pulcherrima

poinsettia

© RHS
  • Other common names poinsettia
    bird-of-paradise flower

    Christmas flower
    Christmas star
    fire on the mountain
    fire plant
    lobster flower
    Mexican Easter flower
    Mexican flameleaf
    painted leaf
    pride of Barbados

    see more
  • Family Euphorbiaceae

  • Genus Euphorbia can be annuals, perennials, shrubs or succulents, with milky sap and small flowers held within cupped, often colourful bracts

  • Details E. pulcherrima is a semi-evergreen shrub with large, bluntly toothed, ovate leaves and tiny yellow flowers with leaf-like bright red bracts, opening in winter

Characteristics

  • Foliage Semi-evergreen

  • Habit Bushy

  • Toxicity All parts have less toxicity than other species of this genus but may cause discomfort if ingested and contact with milky sap may irritate skin and eyes

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H1B

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Loam

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained

  • SoilLoam

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 1-2 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow indoors in a loam-based potting compost with added bark and leaf mould in full light during winter, avoiding any draughts. Minimum temperature of 13-15°C ( 55-59°F) during the flowering season. Water sparingly during growth and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser every 10-14 days

Propagation Propagate by stem cuttings in early summer. Use a hormone rooting compound

Suggested planting locations and garden types Patio & Container Plants

How to care

Pruning Prune back the plants hard in April, to about 10cm (4in). Repot them, growing them in a light, cool place over summer. A temperature of 15-18°C (60-65°F) is ideal. Flowering and bract colouring is initiated by short winter day-length, occurring naturally in December and January. So from November onwards, plants should be put in a dark room after twelve hours of daylight and protected from artificial light sources Plants need a constant temperature of around 18°C (55°F) to colour up well, so make sure they do not get too cold

Pests Glasshouse red spider mite, glasshouse whitefly and mealybugs may occur

Diseases grey mould may be seen

Did you find the information you were looking for?

RHS members can get exclusive individual advice from the RHS Gardening Advice team.

Join the RHS now

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.