Real World Gardener Princely Poinsettias in Plant of the Week

December 28th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


Poinsettias Princettia

This next plant’s leaves was used by the Aztecs to make red dye and the plants’ milky white  sap  was also used to treat fevers.


Poinsettia Princettia Soft Pink

For some reason this next plant is considered a must have at certain times of the year.

The bloke that this plant was named after also founded the Smithsonian Institute in America.

What is it? Let’s find out..

I'm talking with the plant panel: Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. Poinsettias_21st December_2016

The ponsettias that you see for sale have been tricked into flowering in the summer months when they would prefer to flower when nights are long and days are short.

In America they're cheap as chips with plants selling for $US1 on 'Black Friday."

Here in Australia, plant growers have to provide a greenhouse with thick block out curtains to provide that 12 hours of darkness Poinsettias need to initiate flowering.

Then for the 'old school" varieties, they need to be sprayed with a dwarfing compound which is quite toxic, requiring the nurseryman/woman to suit up in protective clothing.

With all that extra effort, Poinsettias are that much more expensive to buy here.



Did you know that also in America Congress honor red Joel Poinsett by declaring December 12th as National Poinsettia Day which commemorates the date of his death in 1851.

Poinsettias can be grown south of Brisbane right down to Coff's Harbour, and north of Brisbane they will grow as far as the land extends, although they can be difficult to grow in frost prone areas west of the coast.

They can also be grown in warm parts of South Australia and in Western Australia's coastal regions, particularly in the north.

If you have any questions about growing Poinsettias, why not write in to




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