Next to holly, mistletoe, and the spruce tree -- poinsettias are a classic holiday plant to arrange in your centerpieces, wreaths, or garlands. The popular and inexpensive plant can be found at your local florist or grocery store and they come in many different colors -- so it is easy to add to your holiday decorations.
In 1998 Martha Stewart Living took a closer look at a greenhouse at the Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, California -- where about 90 percent of the world's poinsettias get their start. I love this story that was in the December/January issue -- the photographs of the rows of poinsettias in the fields and in the greenhouses give me inspiration to add them into my holiday arrangements.
I have some of my favorite photos from the 1998 feature and I have also included some holiday decorating ideas with poinsettias.
Blog Editor Cayla Rasi's parents, George and Patricia, used to throw holiday parties every December -- they would purchase potted poinsettias in advance for the event and they would spread them out on a variety of tables and mantels to decorate different locations in their home. When their guests would leave the soiree, George and Patricia would hand out one poinsettia per guest. By the end of the party, the poinsettias cleared out and friends of the Rasi's were sent home with a festive gift. I love this idea of using your decorations as presents -- it makes the holiday party clean-up much faster and guests are reminded of the party for weeks after the event.