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Herbaceous PerennialHouseplants

Euphorbia pulcherrima

poinsettia

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

Other common names
bird-of-paradise flower
Christmas flower
see moreChristmas star
fire on the mountain
lobster flower
Mexican Easter flower
Mexican flameleaf
painted leaf
pride of Barbados
fire plant [2]
Synonyms
Euphorbia pulcherrima mixed

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Red Yellow Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H1B
Botanical details
Family
Euphorbiaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
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. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

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

Name status

Correct

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 and container plants
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 moulds may be seen

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