En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
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
43 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

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Blooming but not berrying American bittersweet from Pendleton IN
May 29, 2013 - I have had a bittersweet plant for years, it blooms but not berries. How do I tell if it is male or female so I can buy the opposite? It is currently blooming.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trumpet creeper in Prairie City, IA
August 22, 2011 - I have a Trumpet Creeper that I would like to transplant. How do you do that?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Moth Mullein as a garden plant from Starksville MS
July 09, 2011 - I collected seeds from a beautiful Moth Mullein growing in a lot which will soon be bulldozed. Would I regret sowing them in the back of a sunny perennial bed this fall. These are from the white-pin...
view the full question and answer

Sagebrush for Westminster CO
August 06, 2010 - On a recent visit to Taos, NM we fell in love with the local sagebrush. We would like to plant this sagebrush in our yard. We are located near Denver Colorado. Would this plant survive and how do we g...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center