Tag Archives: Plants

Poinsettia – The Flower of Christmas

Poinsettias are a popular favorite around Christmastime. Seeing red poinsettias with Poinsettia flowertheir pots wrapped in shiny green foil makes us feel festive at this time of year. But have you ever wondered how this distinctive plant became so closely connected with the Christmas season? Took a closer look at the poinsettia and its interesting history.

A Practical Plant

Poinsettias are native to Central America. These plants, called “cuetlaxochitl,” meaning “brilliant flower,” were used by ancient Aztecs to make purple dye for clothing and makeup. Also, the sap of a poinsettia was used to treat fevers.

A Mexican Treasure

In southern Mexico, poinsettias flower for a short amount of time in the winter. In 1828, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, visited southern Mexico and became enchanted with the poinsettias he saw there. He brought some of the plants back to his greenhouses in South Carolina, and he nurtured his poinsettias and shared them with friends as well as botanical gardens. These plants got their English name from Poinsett.

Poinsettias and Christmas

There are many connections between poinsettias and Christmas. For one, the poinsettia plant has a similar shape to the star of Bethlehem. Also, the plant is red and green, which are colors associated with Christmas.

Caring for Your Poinsettia

Do you want your poinsettia to last beyond Christmas? If so, there are some care tips to remember. For one, water your plant only when its soil is dry. Gently stick your finger about an inch down into the soil to make sure it’s dry before watering. Also, keep it in a cool room (about 55 degrees) in the evening so it will bloom longer. With the right care, you can even get your poinsettia to rebloom!poinsettia-2-787x399

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fascinating Facts About the Flower of Christmas

  • Along with using the poinsettia as medicine for fevers, the Aztecs believed the plant had magical properties like causing a baby to be born crosswise.
  • Poinsettias grow as shrubs in southern Mexico. They can sometimes grow up to 12 feet tall!
  • Poinsettias are the national emblem of Madagascar.
  • At least $200 million worth of poinsettias are sold each year during the Christmas season.
  • The red petals of a poinsettia are really its leaves, or bracts, while its small yellow bulbs are its flowers.
  • Though the bracts of a poinsettia are not deadly to people or animals, they can make you sick.

 

Your friends at George Thomas Florist will help you find the right Poinsettia and delivered to the proper place, at the proper time.

Pet-Friendly Flowers and Plants

Persian cat and Yorkshire TerrierWe all love fresh flowers and plants for the beauty they provide and their wonderful aromas that fill our homes. Unfortunately, our pets don’t enjoy flowers the same way we do. Dogs and cats have a natural curiosity and tend to investigate anything new by smelling or tasting. Their inquisitive nature is often adorable, but can sometimes lead to trouble – especially for active pets that have a tendency to eat everything they see. It’s up to us to protect them by knowing which varieties of flowers are safe for pets and identifying which ones can be dangerous to our four-legged friends. While many plants will cause nothing more severe than mild digestive upset should they be ingested by pets, some can cause more serious health issues.

Non-toxic choices
Roses are always a safe choice when it comes to choosing flowers for a home with pets. Once their thorns are removed, they are usually harmless to most animals. Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, snapdragons, and alstroemerias are also safe to have around pets, as are orchids and ferns.

Flowers that may be harmful
According to the ASPCA, Lilies (specifically Lilium and Hemerocallis) are considered to be the most dangerous flowers for pets, particularly for cats, and should be avoided if the pets will be left alone with them. Tulips, baby’s breath, birds of paradise, hyacinths, stargazers, carnations, and daisies can also be toxic to pets if they are ingested.

Alternative options
When sending a bouquet or plant as a gift to a pet owner, it’s always best to seek out a “pet-friendly” bouquet.

There are several options to consider when sending flowers to a pet-friendly household. Alstroemerias (Peruvian lilies) can be substituted for other lilies in bouquets, and ferns can be used in place of baby’s breath when accompanying roses or other flowers.

A common organic solution can also be used to deter pets from getting too close to potentially harmful flowers. A mixture of ten drops of citrus essential oil, one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper can be sprayed over the flowers and plants, and should repel even the most curious pets.

In most cases, pets and flowers can safely co-exist in the same house by taking a few simple precautions. Below are lists of some of the most common “pet-friendly” flowers and also of flowers that are known to be toxic. For a more comprehensive list, visit: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants, or contact us for more information.

Brief list of “pet-friendly” flowers and plants:
– African daisy
– African violet.
– Alyssum
– Bachelor’s buttons
– Celosia
– Common Snapdragon
– Easter Daisy
– Orchids
– Peruvian lily
– Brazilian lily
– Rose

Toxic to both cats and dogs are:
– Tulips
– Azalea
– Bird of Paradise
– Aloe
– Begonias
– Baby’s Breath
– Amaryllis.
– Easter and stargazer lilies can cause serious kidney problems if ingested by cats