Have you ever wondered how Poinsettias became known as the "Christmas Flower"? The story of the Poinsettia stems from its country of origin.
Poinsettia plants are typically native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs had many uses for Poinsettias including using the flowers to make a purple dye for clothes and cosmetics. They also used the milky white sap as medicine to treat fevers. Today we call the sap latex.
There is an old Mexican legend about how Poinsettias became synonymous with Christmas. There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who did not have a present to offer the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve celebrations. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up. "Pepita", he said "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves Him will make Jesus happy."
Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene.
Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.
For us at West Coast Gardens, the Poinsettia plant is very special as we've been growing them in house for over 40 years. For 120 days (mid-July to mid-November) we carefully tend the plants to produce the perfect Poinsettias, requiring darkness at night and brightness during the day, we ensure that our Poinsettias get the beauty-sleep they need so that they look their best for you.
This year we grew 61,000 Poinsettias. All West Coast Gardens poinsettias are grown onsite in our green houses using natural pest control and fertilizers.
Watch our behind the scenes video all about how we grow our poinsettias!