Iberville Living, December 2019

Nichole Lefebvre / Guest Contributor
Nichole Lefebvre

Hi, I am Nichole Lefebvre, and my passion is home and garden! I will reveal tips, secrets and hints on how to jazz up your space, gardening advice, and famous cooking, Iberville Parish style.

With the smells and sights of this wonderful Christmas season, we all love to decorate. The best selling potted plant in this country is the Poinsettia!

It's native to Mexico. They can live in the ground, in our climate here, but wive's tales say that they will live if you plant on the south side of your home or against a garage. It must be true because my great grandmother grew one outside of her back door. It was to the top of the rafters, packed with the eye catching Christmas red. There are many yards here that adorn these beautiful tropical trees. There are over 100 different varieties. Most come in traditional colors like red and white. Others have been cultivated into marbled or veiny textures, and unique colors, like salmon, apricot and hot pink. If you ever see a blue one, it's dyed!

The yellow cluster of tiny buds in the middle are actually the bloom. The color is revealed in the leaves. So how do we take care of these precious, Christmas, colorful plants? You have to check the soil with your fingers to see if you need water. If it is dry, definitely water. They like moist soil, not soggy. Do not let it completely dry out. It may not recover. The most common mistake is over watering. Just make sure you check the soil before you water. The bottom of the pot should not be in standing water.

It has been said that these frail, tropical plants were poisonous. That is FALSE. According to the Poison Control Center in Atlanta, the poinsettia has been tested hundreds of times and it is NOT POISONOUS! The milky sap may make skin irritable. But don't eat it anyway!

A fabulous way to accent your poinsettia is if you have a container, like a l tabletop planter, place them in the center of the container and fill around the base of the plant with spanish moss, coordinating ball ornaments, Christmas berries, pinecones, fairy lights, and of course, your favorite ribbon. Another way to adorn your front entrance is to flank both sides of you entry with poinsettias in urns. The urns will raise them to give the height needed. Any way that you display these blooming beauties, it's sure to make a visual impact! Enjoy! Merry Christmas and God Bless!