CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gritt's Greenhouse has been busy spreading holiday cheer this month. Penny Goff, partner and general manager, said they have distributed 40,000 poinsettia plants this season.
"We did the Greenbrier this year, too," Penny said. "I'm not sure of the number, but it's around 4,000 to 5,000 that we delivered to them."
The Putnam County company sells the plants in seven sizes, and it supplies most of the local florists as well as florists throughout West Virginia and surrounding states. Gritt's is one of the poinsettia suppliers for Kroger, and it supplies TerraCare and several small garden centers. Gritt's provides poinsettias for many area fundraisers, as well.
Penny said they grow and distribute seven varieties: early and late reds, pink, white, jingle bells (red with white specks), winter rose, maroon, marble and coral.
I remember a trip to southern California years ago, and as we drove around I was amazed to see poinsettias used in the landscapes of the homes around Los Angeles.
Here are some tips for keeping your poinsettia in top holiday form for as long as possible, courtesy of the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, Calf.
Place your plant in indirect sunlight for at least six hours a day. If direct sunlight can't be avoided, diffuse the light with a sheer curtain. A room temperature between 68-70 degrees is optimal. Generally speaking, if you are comfortable, so is your poinsettia.
Avoid drafts or excessive heat from ventilation ducts or fireplaces. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch, avoiding over-watering. Always remove the plant from its decorative container before watering and allow the water to drain completely. Don't fertilize the plant when it is in bloom, wait until after the blooming season and use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer.
Take a break
Houseplants slow down for the winter so take a break and go easy on the water and fertilizer. While this is a general rule of thumb, I have a couple of plants that become particularly dry because they are near furnace vents, so I have to put them on a different watering schedule than the rest.