The story of Christmas Poinsettias at Pentland Plants

It is a little known fact that we at Pentland were one of the first nurseries in the UK to grow the now ubiquitous Poinsettia. 

Poinsettias are part of the Euphorbia family and known as Euphorbia Pulcherrima. Joel Robert Poinsett introduced the plant to the US in 1928 He was a botanist, physician and the first US ambassador to Mexico. 

In its native Mexico they are a wild plant growing up to 3 m and the coloured parts are not actually flowers but modified bracts or leaves. The actual flowers are the yellow cyathia in the centre and when it is in full flower you can see the bottle brush flower covered in pollen. We treat them with growth retardant and pinch them to keep them compact.

In the early 60’s David Sprays Father Joseph read about them in an American journal and had some sent across from California. In those days we bought in dry woody plants which we coaxed back to life to produce cuttings. Now of course we import soft green cuttings from Ethiopia as air travel has made the world a much smaller place so anywhere is just a day away. 

The cuttings arrive in July and are potted into 13cm pots in a very special open compost with lots of food and trace elements included. They are pinched to produce side shoots and spaced out regularly to give a good all round shape. They are grown in a warm, bright, draft free glasshouse and watered and fed until they change colour in November. 

We supply supermarkets with the red varieties but other garden centres as well as Pentland Plants take all the colours available such as whites, pinks, variegated and burgundy so they can be kept well after Christmas as a normal houseplant!

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Premium Christmas Poinsettias Now in Stock

Did you know we’re one of the biggest growers of Christmas Poinsettia plants in the country?! 

Over 100,000 Poinsettias are grown right here at Pentland Plants every year!

We have a huge selection of premium plants to choose from in a variety of sizes and colours, not just red! Choose from whites, pinks, variegated, red and burgundy… 

6cm pot £1.99 
10cm pot £3.49 
13cm pot £5.99 
15cm pot £7.99 
17cm pot £9.99

And don't forget... we'll be running our guided poinsettia walks around the nursery on the 28th and 29th of November. Book now to reserve you place:




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Pentland Plants Garden Centre
Pentland Mains
EH20 9QG

0131 440 0895 

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Christmas Opening Hours:
Closed: Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year's Day

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