US (FL): Sarasota nursery has a colorful sea of poinsettias

About 60 percent of the thousands of Christmas plants grown by Albritton’s Nursery will go to wholesale clients like churches and florists and the remaining 40 percent will be sold at the nursery’s retail store.

To the untrained eye, it might be hard to spot the subtle differences among the thousands of poinsettias in Robert Albritton’s greenhouses. The average person might see rows of beautiful plants, some of which are taller or redder than others. But Albritton sees things a little bit differently.

He can tell the slight differences in color between two seemingly identical white poinsettias. He can see whether the centers of the plants — the actual flowers themselves — are flowering or hiding shyly, and he can tell you why. And he can manipulate the plants to trick them into thinking it’s still summer, so they won’t bloom until the time is right.

It’s all part of the carefully honed craft of growing poinsettias that Albritton, the owner of Albritton’s Nursery on Proctor Road, has been practicing for 32 years. Every year, around this time, he starts sending poinsettia plants by the truckload to churches and florists across Sarasota. He expects at least 70 percent of his plants will be sold by this week.

Read more at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Laura Finaldi)

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