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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 06, 2013

From: Houston, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Non-Natives, Propagation, Shrubs
Title: Propagation of poinsettias in water from Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Pointsettias - we have a broken branch that is thriving in a jar of water with new leaves and additional small branches. When we plant the stem in dirt and even a muck, the growth starts to wither. Any way that we can generate a thriving plant from this growth?

ANSWER:

There is one poinsettia, Euphorbia cyathophora (Wild poinsettia), native to North America and this USDA Plant Profile Map shows it grows naturally in Harris County. You can see the pictures below from our Image Gallery to judge whether this is the plant you have. On the other hand, if you purchased the parent plant, it is more likely that you have Euphorbia pulcherimma, which is indigenous to Mexico and Central America and therefore falls out of the realm of our expertise, which is plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown; in your case, Harris County TX. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that this plant grows natively nowhere in North America.  Both the native and the non-native belong to the Euphorbiaceae family and propagation methods should be similar.

This article from Floridata on the culture of the non-native poinsettia has this paragraph on propagation:

"Propagation: Take cuttings in summer. Use rooting hormone on 8 inch tip cuttings. An easier way is to take cuttings of woody stem about 18 in (45.7 cm) long, stick in ground and keep moist (not wet) for several weeks."

From Dave's Garden, here is an article on the native Euphorbia cyathophora (Wild poinsettia) giving these propagation instructions:

"Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; sow indoors before last frost"

It would, then, appear that neither the native nor the non-native plant with the common name "poinsettia" can be propagated by placing cuttings in water.



 

From the Image Gallery


Wild poinsettia
Euphorbia cyathophora

Wild poinsettia
Euphorbia cyathophora

Wild poinsettia
Euphorbia cyathophora

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native vines poisonous from Bakersfield CA
May 17, 2013 - Are pink bower vines and stars and stripes mandevilla toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Pruning of frost-damaged non-native Sago Palms in Marble Falls TX
April 18, 2010 - I have several large Sago Palms that have partial frost damage, they are part green and part brown fronds. Should I remove the brown leaves? the center of the leaf is green.
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native photinia in Austin
October 07, 2013 - Hi, I live in Cedar Park, TX (Austin Suburb)and have planted a number of Photinia shrubs in various areas of my property. All about 10 months old. The leaves are curling along their length on many...
view the full question and answer

Non-native upside down tomatoes in Edmonton AB
September 19, 2010 - Due to early frost, I have brought my upside down tomato plant into the house & have hung it in the basement. What type of grow lamp can I use? I just have the overhead light & standard lamps at my di...
view the full question and answer

Native vs Non-native Insect Host Plants
March 14, 2013 - My understanding of a host plant is that it is a plant that an insect will lay its eggs on. Is this correct? If this is so then can a cultivar be a host plant for the same insect? I have read Mr. Doug...
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.