Garden centres in Chester and Ellesmere Port are expecting a busy shopping day on Friday as the nation celebrates National Poinsettia Day.

The date marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, a celebrated botanist and physician who introduced the plant to America in 1828.

Bridgemere and Bold Heath Wyevale Garden Centres are predicting a spike in sales on December 12, ahead of a sales peak on Christmas Eve.

Last year, five poinsettia plants were sold every minute across all Wyevale Garden Centres with 2pm on December 24 being dubbed poinsettia 'rush hour'.

This year’s statistics reveal that alternative colours in the traditional seasonal plant are setting a new trend as the White, Pink, Picasso, Marble, and Dark Pink variety are flying off the shelves.

Good luck charm

Garden centre manager at Bridgemere Wyevale Garden Keith Taylor, said: “The rush hour seems to make sense since customers visit family over the Christmas period and a Poinsettia is an ideal gift for friends and family, as well as being a colourful treat for your own home. We usually see a huge peak in sales on the last Saturday of December – suggesting that customers stick to the tradition of buying poinsettias for loved ones as a way of bringing good luck for the New Year.”

Poinsettias originate from Mexico, but they are best grown in cooler climates.

The plants’ coloured bracts (which are often red) are frequently mistaken for flowers, but are actually leaves. The flower is a small yellow part that develops at the very end of the poinsettias’ lifecycle.

Top tips for growing successful poinsettias

  • Grow poinsettias in a well-lit area. They need a minimum of six hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day, so placing them next to big, bright, south-facing windows is ideal.

  • Keep poinsettias away from cold draughts (below 13 °C) and extreme temperature changes to avoid leaf-drop. The ideal temperature for growing is between 16-18°C.
  • Keep compost moist, but avoid overwatering as this can potentially kill the plant. Ensure that your drainage tray is emptied regularly so that the poinsettia doesn’t sit in water, and add a pebble tray to bolster humidity.
  • Refrain from over-feeding your poinsettia while it’s blooming and only fertilise once a week with a houseplant fertiliser.