It’s the most wonderful time of the year…when holiday decorations fill the stores and festive carols play throughout the mall and supermarket. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! One of the most beautiful icons of this festive season is the poinsettia.

Plumb pudding Pointsettia

‘Plum Pudding’ is the first true-purple poinsettia on the market.

Photo Credit: Paul Ecke Ranch

Marblestar Pointsettia

‘Marblestar’ breaks from red-poinsettia tradition.

Photo Credit: Paul Ecke Ranch

Painted Pointsettia

Painted poinsettias bring holiday plant color to a new level.

Photo Credit: Barco’s Liberty Gardens

Winter Rose Pointsettia

The incurved bracts of ‘Winter Rose’ helps this poinsettia come out like a rose.

Photo Credit: Paul Ecke Ranch

Originally, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) only had a red flower, but thanks to over a century of breeding later, we can now spot this holiday favorite in other fabulous colors and types. The most prominent color – and my personal favorite – is still the red poinsettia, of course. Only now there are many varieties of red to choose from.

The industry standard is a variety called Freedom Red™. This has been America’s top-selling brand for almost a decade. It has large showy bracts (the modified leaves at the base of the flowers) and holds up well indoors.

For some red variation, try Freedom™ Jingle Bells, which has red bracts with classy white flecks in them; Winter Rose® Series, which has incurved bracts that make them resemble roses (my favorite); or ‘Holly Point’, which has red flower bracts and variegated leaves to showcase them.

Trying to limit your red intake for the season? Then try another color palette. ‘Marblestar’ is a salmon-pink/white bicolor variety, and ‘Plum Pudding’ is the first true-purple poinsettia on the market. Other poinsettia colors to excite your decorating whimsy are white, pink, burgundy, mauve and lilac.

As if these nontraditional poinsettia colors weren’t enough, in the past year there’s been an exciting new twist to the holiday plant offerings – painted and decorated poinsettias. Often called Fantasy® Poinsettias, these plants are spray painted with floral spray paint in a wide rainbow of colors, from orange and blue to fuchsia. So now there’s a poinsettia to match all of your decorating needs.

You can also find poinsettias decorated with glitter and sparkles (applied by spraying on an adhesive to the bracts and leaves). These customized creations are absolutely stunning once completed, and they’ve brought the poinsettia into a whole new decorating light.

Another novelty poinsettia option is the Mumsettia or DiamondPoint™ creation. The Mumsettia is a poinsettia surrounded by white mums to make a beautiful decoration for the front porch. DiamondPoint™ is a new poinsettia surrounded by ‘DiamondFrost’® euphorbia. Both are pretty options that differ from the traditional single-pot poinsettia.

With so many beautiful poinsettias to try this year and so many colors and decorations to add to them, you should be able to find the perfect plant to help you deck your halls and have the merriest Christmas season yet!