20 November 2008

It's Time for Holiday Poinsettias

Sarah Jane Carson, 12-week old daughter of Holly and Pete Carson. Sarah may be growing poinsettias for dad some day.



Next Monday, November 24, Pete Carson will open Carson Borovetz Nursery for his annual Poinsettia sales event. Native to Southern Mexico, Poinsettias, Euphorbia pulchenima, dominate holiday home and office d├ęcor to the tune of 80-million sold each year.

This year we are offering four sizes and most of the colors available, said Carson.

Shoppers will find over 2,000 plants in various sizes and colors at the nursery. Here is a rundown of the poinsettias choices this year at Carson Bororvetz.

Casual observers never notice the Poinsettia flowers because they are so tiny. The colorful leaves or bracts that bring seasonal cheerfulness into our winter environment are not actually flowers.

Carson pointed out that even before the bracts turn colors you could see what color they will be by looking at the petiole or leaf stem. All the plants have green leaves when they are growing in October. But the stem that connects the leaf to the main stems carries the eventual bract color. Look for red stems on red poinsettias.

Carson will have white, pink, red, Monet, maroon, Winter Rose and Marble.

I have three or four reds this year, Carson said. People have their own preferences and I try to have something for everyone.

Marble has pink centers with white fringe. New growth is pale green in the center with cream outer edges.

Maroon has large burgundy bracts.

Monet is a watercolor mix of dusty pinks and creams.

Winter Rose is double dark red bloom with curved or curled bracts.


SIZE POTS AVAILABLE

Pixie is a 4.5-inch pot miniature with 6 to 8 blooms. Ideal for tabletop, bedside, desks.

Six and one-half-inch pots have 2 plants per container and there will be 12-blooms. This size is the most popular for home coffee tables and in churches.

Eight-inch pots contain 3-plants, planted close together to create a taller display. This height is often used around a fireplace when it is not burning.

Hanging baskets are 10-inches in diameter and will have 20-blooms.

HOW THEY ARE GROWN
In the middle of August when most gardeners are sipping iced tea, Carson received four thousand Poinsettia plant cuttings. When they arrived their root ball was about as big around as a ballpoint pen.

All Poinsettias are hybrids grown from cuttings, Carson said. Each variety has different growing characteristics that I’ve learned over the past 25-years.

For example, a cloudy spell will impact when the bracts become colorful. August and September heat, an October hard freeze and insect migrations, all have to be worked around. Carson keeps both growing houses controlled with fans and heaters to keep the Poinsettias at their required 75-degree daytime and 64-degree nighttime temperatures.

Carson said he has learned from experience how many of each color to grow and which size pots Muskogee area holiday shoppers need.

By the way, Poinsettias are not poisonous. A few individuals have an allergic rash after touching the sap inside the stems of all Euphorbias.


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IF YOU GO
Carson Borovetz Nursery
3020 North Street between South Country Club and York Streets
Monday November 24 through December 24
Monday to Saturday 9 to 6
Sunday noon to 6
918.682.4404 and 348-1270 cell
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HOME CARE OF POINSETTIAS
- Temperature is critical to long lasting color. Keep away from television, stove, fireplace, furnace ducts, cold windowsills and doors that are frequently opened.
- Night temperature of 60-degrees F is ideal
- Water twice a week and drain the saucer after every watering.

2 comments:

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Good article on poinsettias. I usually have two or three in my house every year.

What color do you favor?~~Dee

Martha said...

Well, we often decorate with only poinsettias all over the house. We don't have children in our life so it is an adult approach to the requisite holiday cheer.

This year I asked Pete to save me one of the hanging baskets of 5 white poinsettias to hang between the kitchen and living room.

I have not grown to love the spray painted and glitter strewn ones yet.