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National Poinsettia Day (Dec. 12)

Gardeners are always looking for new growing challenges. Try starting a new poinsettia from seed this holiday season.

The colorful parts of the poinsettia that we call flowers are actually modified leaves or bracts. The tiny yellow growths in the center of these bracts are the true flower. These are often removed to extend the beauty of the poinsettia

If the flowers are left intact they will eventually form a seedpod. Harvest the pod once it starts turning brown and store in a brown paper bag. Once completely dry the pods pop open and you will find the seeds at the bottom of the bag.

Plant seeds in a moist well-drained potting or seed starting mix.  Set in a warm location and keep the soil slightly moist. Seedlings should appear in about two weeks.

Keep in mind the offspring will probably look different than their parent plant.

A bit more information:  Don’t propagate patented plants you plan to share or sell. Patents protect breeders and help them recoup some of the cost of developing new plant varieties. And this helps insure new varieties continue to be introduced for our enjoyment.

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