Painted Poinsettias and their Colorful History

About 13 years ago, painted poinsettias made a striking entrance into holiday decorating and have remained very popular.

Some want their poinsettias to match the colors in their house while some want to reflect their team loyalty. And then there are some that simply think it’s about time orange and purple got their holiday due. Whatever the motivation, and preferred color, they become magical  when sprayed with an assortment of  paints and glitter. Quite the conversation piece for your holiday events, each one unique and hand-painted. They are like works of art as no two turn out exactly alike.

But what about the history? Painted poinsettias seem to have arrived on the scene in the United States, after being very popular in Europe, to offer poinsettias to various faiths such as blue-petaled and silver-glittered poinsettias for Hanukkah. But I recently learned that the painted poinsettia gained it’s popularity in Kalamazoo after customers were clamoring for patriotic flower arrangements following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

According to a Kalamazoo Gazette article published December 2001, Bob Powers, retail manager of Wenke Greenhouses at the time, decided to try blue floral paint on one of the white poinsettias to see how it would fare. After confirming that it seemed to thrive as well as an unpainted poinsettia, Wenke’s began painting poinsettias and could barely keep up with demand due to their popularity. Now, Wenke’s has them available in rainbow of colors, mixing colors to get the different shades desired.

The paint does not affect the health of the Poinsettia and they do not require any special care although you should be careful to water from the bottom so as not to get the bracts wet. Other than that, you treat a painted Poinsettia just as you would a regular Poinsettia. These low maintenance plants provide unique color and make wonderful gifts.

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