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
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 Shrubs Questions

Hedge of native Purple Sage in Austin
November 20, 2008 - Hi, I would like to plant a dense hedge of Purple Sage that will hopefully grow from 6-8 ' tall and about 4' wide. I purchased the Silverado Sage Leucophyllum frutescens 'Berstar Dwarf' variety....
view the full question and answer

Possibility of invasiveness of blackberry bush
March 27, 2008 - I bought a blackberry bush from Home Depot last year. My sister said if I planted it in the ground it would take over my lawn. So I put it in a big planter up against my fence, but I'd like to put it...
view the full question and answer

Plants dying in circular garden in Killeen, TX.
July 31, 2012 - I have a large circular garden in my backyard out in the country in Killeen Texas. Last year two elms died. This year the Rose of Sharon has been dying one by one. One bush will completely die off bef...
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen shrubs for horse barn in North Carolina
September 26, 2009 - I want to plant some low growing evergreen shrubs in pots in my paddock around my barn. The horses can occasionally be in this are but not for an extended time. I am in NC. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Plants to keep children out of yard
April 23, 2008 - I WANT TO PLANT SOMETHING ALONG A FENCE LINE TO KEEP CHILDREN OUT OF OUR YARD. NEEDS TO GROW FAST BUT NOT POISONOUS
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center