poinsettias: California Christmas

Pictured is a greenhouse in Santa Maria Valley of California Central Coast where Gustavo is a poinsettia expert



Santa Maria, Calif.--It's that time of year when the grocery stores, Costco, Walmart, Home Depot and nearly every place you'll find is selling pots of poinsettias for the holidays. Those beautiful flowers ranging in colors from cream to deep red, are grown to perfection, then sent to market in an effort that involves tender loving care, intuition, knowledge, and science.

Just outside Santa Maria the flowers are grown and shipped to stores and outlets, bringing joy to those who purchase their prized holiday bouquet, a living thing that can be planted and grow into a tree if cared for properly. Some keep their poinsettias for personal use, while others gift them as affordable gifts, ideal for a dinner invitation thank-you, a holiday open house, or to adorn a church.

In Central California the people who grow the poinsettias are incredible to meet and talk to. There's a lot of science and history they use in making the flowers blossom at the right time. But nature also has a say as to when the green plants will turn colors. And those who grow them have to carefully monitor the temperatures of the growing environment, watch the soils, water, and protect the plants from bugs and fungus.

You wouldn't know so much goes into growing that poinsettia that you are looking at. Each year scientists come up with new colors of poinsettias and new names. There's always excitement for those in the plant world to learn about such creations.

But for most of us just looking at the pretty flowers, buying something as a gift or to go with our holiday decor, the poinsettia brings real joy and color into environments that throughout the year are often less bright.


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