Poinsettia payday: Local growers find success growing and selling the Christmas flower

For the first time since Patterson Farm started growing and selling the red Christmas flower more than four decades ago, the farm completely sold out of poinsettias this year.

The plants did not even make it past the first weekend of December, which is when the farm took to social media to announce they would be able to fulfill previous orders, but would not be accepting any more. The farm could not even secure extra poinsettias from other growers in the region, who were also running low on supply.

“We’ve never been totally out,” said Doug Patterson, who oversees the farm’s greenhouses. “We’ve always had options. When you’re sold out with options, that’s a much better situation.” Patterson Farm was not the only local poinsettia grower to have a successful season; Rockwell Farms, a major producer of plants located in Rowan County, also sold out of poinsettias this year.

According to the Future Farmers of America, poinsettias are America’s top-selling potted plant, contributing a staggering $250 million to the nation’s economy annually, even though the market for them is only about six weeks long. Patterson Farm — a family-owned operation in Mt. Ulla, known for its tomatoes, strawberries, and other fresh produce — started growing poinsettias more than 40 years ago. It was a way for the farm to make use of its greenhouses at a time when no other plants would normally be in them.

Read the complete article at www.salisburypost.com.

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