Raleigh, North Carolina — North Carolina is the second largest producer of poinsettias in the United States, after California. A popular winter flower, it contributes significantly to the state’s agricultural economy.
So what does it take to grow the perfect poinsettia and why is Tar Heel State known for its poinsettias?
“If you’re known for growing poinsettias of almost every color, why not grow orange poinsettias, gold poinsettias, whites and pinks?” Owner, Homewood Nursery & Garden Center President Joe Stoflegen said:
At the Homewood Nursery and Garden Center, poinsettia is the name of the game.
“We had 55 varieties this year. We’ve grown 150 varieties so far, so in a normal year it fluctuates from 50 to about 100,” says Stoffregen. “The climate here is perfect for growing poinsettias. [in North Carolina] And there are many large growers producing over a million plants each.”
Even if these aren’t your favorite plants, Stoffregen’s passion for poinsettias might change your mind.
“This plant canopy — look at it. It’s spectacular,” Stoffregen said. “I mean, you may not like poinsettias, but you do like them, don’t you?”
Stoffregen’s father started the business and began growing poinsettias in the fall and spring. The rest is history.
“My father said, ‘I’m going to grow 1,000 poinsettias.’ That was in 1972. We’ll start with 1,000 poinsettias in the greenhouse and go from there. Every year after that, he’ll grow 1,000 more.” So he increased that 1,000.He sold it.He grew 2,000.He sold it.Every year, he grew 1,000 a year until he reached 30,000 poinsettia points. We were adding poinsettias,” says Stoffregen.
Now they’re turning it into science.
“We are very precise. was looking for,” said Stoffregen.
Stoffregen is also trying to educate people about plants.
“September. On the 21st, the day becomes shorter than the night, and the production of chlorophyll, the green color of the leaves, stops. The color appears as the plant changes because the leaves already contain pigments that indicate what kind of color it will be,” Stoflegen said.
Because everything they sell is sold directly to the consumer, poinsettia care sheets are also distributed to debunk common misconceptions about the plant.
“Neither is edible, but it’s not a poisonous plant. We want to make sure people know that. We put it on the care sheet so people are comfortable,” Stoffregen said. says.
As much as he loves poinsettias, Stoffregen loves the joy his business brings to people even more.
“You can see people coming here and taking pictures, having a good time, enjoying being in this environment, walking with poinsettias. It helps me to be able to continue doing what I’m doing,” Stoflegen said.
More poinsettias are sold nationwide during the Christmas season than any other flowering plant year-round, Stoffregen said.
As for how the poinsettia got its name, it was brought to America from Mexico in the 1800s by a man named Joel Poinsett from Charleston, South Carolina.