RALEIGH — During the winter and at the holidays, poinsettias are often a central part of the decorations, and for good reason. With various shades of red, pink, white, or a marbled combination of colors, poinsettias add a vibrant dash of color that complements the greenery of the season.
Poinsettias also provide a boost to North Carolina’s economy because the state is the third-largest producer of the plants in the country.
“North Carolina produced nearly 4.8 million poinsettias in 2007 and generated cash receipts of $15.2 million,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Overall floriculture production contributes more than $194 million to North Carolina’s economy, and poinsettias are a very important part of that.”
Poinsettias are grown in greenhouses across North Carolina. They have specific climatic requirements, and need the correct balance of sunlight and darkness in order to produce quality plants for the holiday season.
“Poinsettias make great gifts. They can be used for event decorations or just decorating your house during the holidays,” said John Aydlett, marketing specialist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “You can find them at multiple outlets, such as nurseries, farmers markets, garden centers, florists, and even grocery stores.”
A full palette of poinsettias will be on display Thursday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the National Poinsettia Trial Open House at N.C. State University.
Growers are welcome to visit on either day, while the general pubic is invited to attend on Sunday. Information about this open house and other events can be found at www.nccfga.org. To find outlets for locally grown poinsettias near you, go to www.ncfarmfresh.com.