Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
42 ratings

Thursday - June 09, 2005

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of poinsettias
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How do I grow poinsettias from seed pods?

ANSWER:

Christmas poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima is native to Mexico. Other poinsettias, Euphorbia spp. are native to various parts of the US.

Poinsettias are almost always propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings. However, they certainly can be grown from seed as many new cultivars are developed by cross pollination of existing strains to produce plants with some characteristics from each parent.

Collect the seed pods from your poinsettia plants when they begin to turn brown. Store them in a closed paper bag until the seed pods have completely dried. During this period, the seeds are likely to pop right out of the pods and end up on the bottom of the bag. At that point they are ready to sow.

Poinsettia seeds do not need any special treatment to germinate. Nor do they need light. Sow your seeds, one per small pot, just below the soil surface in evenly moist potting soil. Keep in a warm area of subdued light (no direct sunlight!) and make sure the surface of the soil does not get too dry. In a short time, likely one to two weeks, your poinsettia seeds should germinate and the new seedlings begin to grow. Young seedlings are particularly susceptible to fungal diseases, so make sure there is some air movement around the young plants until they grow several leaves.

While it is possible that you may find a wonderful new cultivar of poinsettia amongst your seedlings, sadly, it is far more likely that the new plants will be quite inferior -- horticulturally speaking -- to either of their parents.
 

More Propagation Questions

Failure to bloom of Turk's cap in Midland TX
September 08, 2009 - My turk's cap won't make flowers. It has daily watering via irrigation system, and soft amended soil. The plant is beautiful and thriving, but no flowers. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Cornus sericea by sprouts in Maryland
November 21, 2008 - I would like to transplant suckers of a red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea). When is the best time to do it (before or during dormancy)? How big of a root system does each sucker need to survive? Where ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation by seed of Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata (heartleaf skullcap)
January 15, 2008 - Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata-- Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! How do I grow this from seed?! I'm trying to propagate for a native plants garden (zone 7B). Thanks for the info! Cheers!
view the full question and answer

native plants for landscaping in Honolulu
January 08, 2012 - Hi, wildflower.org has been a great help for me in learning about different plants, their Latin names and characteristics. I was looking for a list of plants (trees, shrubs, ground covers, perennials...
view the full question and answer

Growth process of plants
November 01, 2007 - How does a plant grow?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.