A trip to the garden center isn’t just for spring!
This holiday season, consider purchasing Maine-grown poinsettias and other live holiday plants from a local garden center or greenhouse. There are thousands of poinsettias available locally this year, in more colors and sizes than you might expect. Decorate with Real Maine poinsettias this season and you’ll bring home lovely plants while supporting local businesses.
It takes knowledge and skill to ensure a poinsettia crop is colorful for Christmas. Poinsettias require days with fewer than 12 hours of daylight to trigger the production of their colorful bracts (the bright leaves at the top of each plant that form the “flower”). Coaxing the plants into rich colors can take more than 10 weeks!
Why buy local poinsettias?
- Poinsettias sold at “big box stores” usually are grown in other states and Canada. A locally-grown poinsettia may cost a few dollars more, but the plant likely is in great shape because it was grown right here, and not trucked in from afar.
- Staff at local garden centers and greenhouses are plant care professionals, so you can feel good about the plant you are buying, knowing it is in good health.
- You may have heard that poinsettias are “poisonous.” If ingested by people or pets, poinsettias may cause a mouth rash or upset stomach, however, they are irritating, not deadly. Take the usual precautions to keep your plants away from children and pets and they are a safe way to beautify your home with a Maine-grown plant.
- When you decorate with Real Maine poinsettias and greens this season, you’re supporting farms and greenhouses during a time of year when few other crops are marketed!
- Think poinsettias are just red? Think again. Local growers produce poinsettias in many shades of red, burgundy, pink, white and marbled tones as well. And poinsettias don’t just look good, growing plants indoors can boost your mood, improve indoor air quality and reduce stress.
Growers need our support now more than ever
Beautiful, lush poinsettia plants take more than 6 months to grow from start to finish. Greenhouses ordered their supplies and started planting well before experts understood the scope and duration of the coronavirus pandemic. The length of time needed for planning and growing this crop make it difficult for growers to easily adjust to shifting demand. Growers typically sell many Maine-grown poinsettias to churches and to groups who use them for fundraisers. With many churches cutting back on seasonal holiday displays and schools and other groups canceling fundraisers, due to the pandemic, this has left some businesses with many plants on hand for the 2020 holiday season. This year it is even more helpful to take the time to seek out #RealMaine poinsettia growers!