Why is poinsettia called the Christmas star?
A few years ago, we had a Christmas tree as the only plant for the New Year and Christmas, but times are passing - traditions are changing. It is no longer uncommon when poinsettias glowing in red appear in our homes for the New Year. It is probably good that beautiful traditions take root with us.
Beautiful euphorbia, or poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) - a plant of the genus Euphorbia (Euphorbia) of the family Euphorbiaceae (Euphorbiaceae). The birthplace of the plant is tropical Mexico and Central America.
Christmas legend of poinsettia
There are many legends about why poinsettia is called the Christmas star and they are all beautiful - this is just one of them.
In a small Mexican village on Christmas Eve, people were preparing for the feast in honor of the birth of the baby Christ. The whole village took part in the preparation. The village church and the square in front of it were festively decorated. Even the children helped by making gifts that would give the baby Jesus at Christmas.
Little Maria was getting ready too. She lived in a poor family, her mother worked as a weaver, and they could not afford anything superfluous. Mary decided to give baby Jesus a beautiful blanket woven with her own hands. In secret from her mother, Maria decided to use her loom, but she still did not know how to use the loom and tangled the threads and her beautiful blanket was hopelessly spoiled.
The little girl was heartbroken, because she did not have a gift to Jesus, like other children. How will she go to the procession without a gift? What will she put at the cradle of the infant Christ?
Christmas Eve has arrived. Residents of the village gathered in the square in front of the church. Everyone around was happy, everyone had gifts, they shared their joy and discussed who will give what. Everyone was ready to bring their gift to Christ. Everyone except Mary, who was hiding in the shadows, watching with tears in her eyes, as the procession to the church began. People walked with gifts, lit candles and sang songs.
“I don’t have a present for baby Jesus,” Maria quietly sniffed. “I tried to make something beautiful, but instead I ruined everything.” Suddenly Maria heard a voice. She looked around and saw only a bright star in the sky; she seemed to soar and shine over the village church. Did this star talk to her?
“Mary,” she again heard a voice, “baby Jesus will love everything you give, because it comes from your heart. Love is what makes any gift special. ”
Mary wiped away her tears and emerged from the shadow in which she was hiding. Nearby, she noticed tall green weeds. She quickly broke branches from the bush, covering them under an apron. Then she ran down to the church.
By the time Mary came to the church, the candles in it burned brightly and the choir sang. People walked down the aisle, carrying their gifts to the infant Christ. Padre Francesco placed the figurine of baby Jesus in a manger, around which the gifts of other children were laid out.
Maria was frightened when she saw all these people dressed in beautiful clothes - she was dressed so poorly. She tried to slip behind one of the large columns, but Padre Francesco saw her.
“Mary, Mary,” he shouted to her, “Hurry up girl, come in, bring your present!”
Mary was terrified. She wondered: “Will it be right to run away? Should I go forward? ”
The Padre noticed her fear and asked her more gently: “Mary, come here and look at the baby Jesus. There is still free space for another present. ”
When Mary came to her senses, she discovered that she was already walking along the main aisle of the church.
“What does Mary hide under the apron? - the villagers whispered, “Where is her present?”
Padre Francesco came out from behind the altar and went with Mary to the manger. Maria bowed her head, said a prayer, then lifted the apron so that the weeds she collected would fall.
People in the church gasped: “Look! Look at these glorious flowers! ”
Maria opened her eyes. She was astounded. Each branch of the weed was now crowned with a fiery and bright red star.
A miracle happened not only in the church, but also outside its walls. Every weed whose branches Mary had picked up was now strewn with bright red stars.
So the love of Mary created a miracle.
About poinsettia care
Poinsettia needs a bright but diffused light. This flower must be kept away from strong sun and drafts. The minimum temperature is -13 .. -15 ° C. Care must be taken when transporting poinsettias from the store, as cold outside temperatures can damage the foliage. Wrap the top of the foliage with paper right in the store or put the plant in a plastic bag.
Sometimes poinsettia (the most beautiful euphorbia) begins to wither at home. This may be due to the fact that the plant was stored in cold conditions. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to save the plant in this case. Therefore, it is recommended to buy plants only from trusted sellers.
The lack of water, as well as its excess, can adversely affect the growth of the plant. Watering poinsettia is necessary when the surface of the soil begins to dry. In a humid environment, the plant blooms longer, so spray the plant regularly. Once a month, poinsettia must be fed with nitrogen and potassium.
How to make poinsettia bloom next Christmas?
In April, the plant must be cut to 10 centimeters. Plant it in the open ground. The place should not be too sunny. The temperature at +15 .. +18 ° C is ideal.
Poinsettia begins to bloom only with short daylight hours, which occur in December and January. Therefore, in November, the plant should be placed in a dark room and protected from artificial light sources.
In order for the poinsettia to bloom, it is necessary to provide it with a temperature regime of +18 ° C. Make sure that the room where the flower is not too cold.