Poinsettias are not just for Christmas, as one grower explains.
Poinsettias are the traditional plant of Christmas and during the festive season they will bedeck Kirklees’ town halls and council venues, offices and schools – but, due to their longevity, they will be keeping those places colourful well into 2008.
Nearly 2300 plants, mostly red but also white and pink, are ready and waiting for the seasonal demand having been carefully nurtured since July by nurseryman Mick McGrath Parks and Open Spaces nursery at Bradley, Huddersfield.
“They are wonderful plants,” according to Mick who has been involved in growing the council’s poinsettia stock for over 40 years and has been in sole charge of the process for the past 10 years.
He likes them not just for their beauty but for their value for money.
“They last a long time. People look forward to seeing our plants at events in the run up to Christmas. For those we use mainly red poinsettias as that’s the colour people prefer for events like carol concerts. Then, in the New Year, when there is a shortage of flowering plants, we use the white and pink plants which mature later than the red,” says Mick.
The key to producing a greenhouse full of vibrant plants and keeping them healthy is in the watering.
Mick explains, “They are very fickle about watering. You have to let them dry out between watering to prevent root rot but catch them before they start to wilt. They also have to be kept where it is not too hot, not too cold and draught-free.”
Good advice from the man whose expertise ensures vast number of plants to bring Christmas spirit to Kirklees – but even he doesn’t always succeed.
“I can’t keep poinsettias at home. When I take a plant home for Christmas, I’m lucky if it lasts until New Year,” adds Mick.
Whether you’re looking for a garden gnome or a garden shed or even some Poinsettias, you’ll find them all at the Gardening Soopa Store.