Poinsettias through the ages: loved by young and old.
Not just for silver surfers, these exotic seasonal plants can be embraced by young and old alike
Whilst they have been prevalent for centuries across the whole of society in their native Mexico, poinsettia’s long association with Christmas tradition means they have tended to be favoured by an older consumer demographic.
For many people across Europe, poinsettias are something they might remember from the 70s, but they have once again caught the eye of fashion-focused consumers who want to put the funk back into their home interiors.
Those for whom Christmas is a sacred tradition involving a long Advent build-up and monumental preparations of food, drink and festive décor, are still the most likely to adorn their Christmas tables and homes with sesaonal poinsettias, but as houseplants and all other aspects of green living continue to be a raging trend, younger age groups are also joining the poinsettia party.
Climbing the ladder
25-35 year olds are powerful drivers of trends, with the spending power that comes from career building, coupled with a desire to get on the housing ladder and settle down with a family. For many in this age group, carrying on the traditions of a family Christmas is an important aspect of the life journey where poinsettias can take their special place as the centrepiece of the festive table.
Whilst traditional red poinsettias are still the runaway favourites worldwide, the flourishing of other colours is good news for younger generations with more contemporary tastes. Buying poinsettias enables you to support local horticultural businesses, garden centres and florists outside the spring season when they typically sell the most plants.
With such a broad colour palette now available, versatile poinsettias not only bring the warmth and comfort of established tradition, but can now deliver an eclectic modern twist to any home setting. Whether it’s an urban jungle you’re trying to achieve, boho chic style or a clean and airy contemporary vibe, poinsettias can help you achieve the look.
The more autumnal shades of orange, salmon, peach or yellow that are now available also extend the poinsettia season well past the traditional advent as they’re available as early as October and November.
These exotic plants are also easier to keep alive than is generally assumed, providing they’re given the proper care. This includes keeping them at an optimum temperature of 15-22 degrees, protection from cold draughts, giving a light watering and gently misting in very warm, dry environments.
If you are on the lookout for ways to make sure their festive displays and decorations stand out. Poinsettias allow them to achieve new looks and colour combinations without breaking the bank.
The delightful influx of new colours and the increasingly popular mini poinsettias, also means they are the ideal flower for winter weddings. Reds and pinks have long been the colours of romance and a wedding where poinsettias play a leading role promises pure sensuality. It shouldn’t be a problem to find bracts in a gorgeous shade that matches the bride’s lipstick.
The bridal bouquet is a bride's number one accessory. White, cream and pastel coloured flowers are popular for bridal bouquets, since they radiate romance and harmonise well with the classic white of the wedding dress. In winter, cut poinsettias are a perfect match for the bridal bouquet. In soft pink and combined with white roses, gypsophila and Lisianthus, these magnificent, star-shaped bracts ensure a glamorous appearance for the big day.
Candy Colour Christmas
This festive table centrepiece in delicate pastel shades is fresh, light and understated. The combination of accessories in cool shades of pale blue and muted pink makes the showy, colourful bracts of the poinsettias stand out brilliantly. The bright blue of a single candle holder adds an extra colour accent.
Pastel shades of yellow and pink dominate this modern festive table and create a cheerful, fresh vibe, further boosted by a few bold touches of colour. The focal point of the table display are the stunning poinsettias, which, as potted and cut flowers, instantly create a Christmassy mood. Strawberry cacti and small crab apples add cheerful, colourful accents.
New life builders
If you’re in the 50-55 age group the chances are you are just starting to enjoy a new lease of life, as your career reaches a comfortable plateau and your children get ready to leave the nest. With more leisure time to spend upgrading and decorating your home, you can find a lot to love in poinsettias.
If you’re anything like the majority of the population, you completed all kinds home improvements during lockdown, finshing off a multitude of small, medium and large-scalle DIY jobs which had been building up over the years. Kitchens were fitted, bathrooms upgraded, home offices established, living rooms were painted and furniture was refreshed.
For a huge number of people these upgrades featured a strong element of greening their living spaces with an abundance of new houseplants, which became a source of major fascination as we sought inner solace in the midst of outer chaos. Poinsettias offer the perfect way to extend this passion for plant life well beyond the usual spring and summer gardening season, throughout autumn and winter.
For those who miss their gardens and allotments when flowers fade and the harvest has been reaped, poinsettias are THE way to enjoy fresh flowers and plants throughout the dark winter months, offering a prime opportunity to exercise your green fingers indoors. As well as offering a healthy and relaxing activity, festive flowering arranging will get you nicely in the mood for Christmas whilst readying your home in a style fit for Santa and other seasonal visitors.
If don’t have the inclination or time to spare on flower arranging, crafting or other activities – have no fear! - you can get your homes Christmas ready in mere seconds with an assortment of well-placed poinsettias. They also make the perfect gift when you’re a house guest on the seasonal dinner and drinks party circuit.
Crafing and DIY are hobbies of choice for millions of Brits who want to wind down from the office and take time out from their computers. Poinsettias come into their own in the realm of craft, offering a world of colour possibilities for homespun decorations, tablepieces, hanging ornaments and other floral displays.
Wreaths are everywhere during Advent and Christmas. Poinsettias can transform even the simplest ones into beautiful, festive focal points. For this fabulous, natural, modern wall wreath, you'll need a poinsettia, a metal wreath ring, wild clematis vine (Old Man's Beard vine), spruce cones, twist wire, paper-covered binding wire and a drill.
1. With the help of the drill and hook attachment, attach vines to the design ring with twists of binding wire. Then gradually weave in more and more vines until the bottom half of the wreath is wide enough to fit a planter inside. The top half of the wreath may be much narrower.
2. Then with paper-covered binding wire attach the cones and hang the wreath on the wall.
3. Finally, gently place the poinsettia and planter in the densely woven vine. Done!