Besides fresh Christmas trees, few florae exemplify the holiday spirit like poinsettias—and local growers are ready for the season.
Poinsettias are cultivated in all 50 states and are one of the top-selling plants in the nation. The 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture Floriculture Crops Summary showed potted poinsettias accounted for $149 million in U.S. floriculture sales that year. In Virginia, about 2.2 million poinsettias with a wholesale value of $10.3 million were raised commercially in 2018.
“Many consumers may not be aware Virginia is fortunate to have a number of poinsettia growers around the state,” said Tony Banks, senior assistant director of agriculture, development and innovation for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
Banks said the plant’s popularity is an additional income opportunity for nurseries and farms during late fall. Vegetable and tobacco farms also can utilize their greenhouses between seasons to raise the flowering plant, he noted.
Stephanie Black, a grower and manager of Atlantic Growers in New Kent County, said she begins selling poinsettias Thanksgiving week, and most people start buying them right after that holiday.