The largest single-site greenhouse in the country is just outside of Charlotte. Huntersville is home to the site that covers 200 acres and sells millions of plants to more than a dozen big box stores across the southeast and mid-Atlantic. The indoor farm houses a velvet sea of red poinsettias: Metrolina Greenhouses are fully stocked in time for the holiday season.
Three million poinsettias will be shipped to stores all along the east coast from Huntersville. “People are buying earlier, so we actually started this week, a week earlier than we usually do for shipping poinsettias," Abe VanWingerden said. "So, if you want to get them, get them now."
Owners of the greenhouse say the controlled environment is a critical part of their operation. “Some of these poinsettias, we trick them a little bit," Art VanWingerden said. "We put a black cloth over them, so they turn on time for when the retailers want them."
They said the family-owned business has seen a big growth spurt in the past two years since the start of the pandemic and sold 75 million plants per year. “We think for the next three to five years, it will grow even more," Abe VanWingerden said. "People have taken a new transition of working from home, and when they do that they beautify their home."
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