A Personal Tradition
I used to get one for my mother every year. She would baby it along all winter, keeping it from drafts and doing her best not to over water it. One year she even kept it going all summer then put it in darkness according to a schedule, to stimulate bloom the next Christmas.
Are Poinsettias Poisonous to Pets?
For many years I avoided bringing poinsetias into my own home, as I heard a rumor that they are quite poisonous to pets.
It seems I’ve deprived myself of the beauty of these pink, red, and white flowers unnnecessarily. According to the Pet Poison Helpline they are only very mildly toxic, and pets who do have issues with them rarely need medical treatment.
As with any houseplant, care should be taken to place them in a spot where they’re not an obvious attraction to pets, and the reaction of each pet should be observed when the new plant is placed in a room. If an individual shows a desire to ingest the flowers and leaves, the plant should be removed.
Should you think your pet is having a reaction to a poinsettia plant, observe him or her for the symptoms listed in the Pet Poison Helpline article referenced above and phone your veterinarian if the symptoms are severe or persistent.
But it’s great to learn, after all these years that poinsettias apparently aren’t the deadly to pets plant some of us had grown to believe. With proper prudence, we pet lovers can enjoy the velvety blooms and deep green foliage of this lovely tradtional Christmas flower.
How Did Poinsettias Become a Christmas Plant
Legend says that a little Mexican girl named Pepita picked a bouquet of weeds to take to a Christmas Eve service as a gift for Jesus. The weeds turned into beautiful flowers – poinsettias.
Joel Roberts Poinset the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico brought the plants to the United States in the early 1800s. The entrepreneurial Ecke family popularized the plants a century later.
Read more details at Readers Digest.
The lovely parts of the poinsettia we think of as petals are actually leaves.