Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Powell Gardens' Poinsettias

Poinsettias remain the premier and most popular Christmas and Holiday Season plant we produce in our greenhouses.  These beautiful plants are a native of Mexico but have been bred and selected by greenhouse growers into colors beyond the traditional red.  They are challenging to produce because they must receive NO extra light as they bloom only in the short days of our winter.
Donna Covell is our Horticulturist in charge of the Poinsettia Crop and this is a picture of her with the poinsettias on October 30th, just as the bracts are beginning to color up nicely.  Horticulturist Anne Wildeboor orders the poinsettias in January of each year, they arrive in late summer as small rooted cuttings and are planted and cared for by Donna and the Greenhouse crew.  Poinsettias are ready for our displays by late November each year.

Freedom Red is our classic and quite spectacular traditional red poinsettia.  Powell Gardens grew 29 varieties this year and here's a sample of some all photographed in our production greenhouses:

Poinsettia 'Shimmer Surprise' is Horticulturist Anne Wildeboor's favorite poinsettia as she is in charge of Powell Gardens' seasonal displays and events. It's her favorite "because it has all of it in there."  I must say it is a festive and phenomenal plant.

Anne also likes 'Winter Rose Dark Red' which is also one of Powell Gardens' visitors favorites.  The bracts are puckered and compact more like its namesake rose blossom.

There are now even more selections with the "Winter Rose" look to them!  This is Poinsettia 'Winter Rose Early Marble' with lovely pink and cream variegated bracts.

Poinsettia 'Winter Rose White' is also a stunner -- seen here in mass in Greenhouse #4.

And how about this variety called 'Peppermint Twist'?

If you like pink poinsettias then our most spectacular in that hue is this one: 'Premium Pink Lipstick.'

Some like it HOT so how about 'Polly's Pink' which is sure vivid and very difficult to photograph and capture its real hue.  Our Polly's Pink Poinsettias were ordered by Duane Hoover, Horticulturist at the Kauffman Memorial Garden so you can see these in person at the Christmas display in the Orangerie there.

If you are more into subdued or pastel colors then Poinsettia 'Premium Apricot' fits the bill.

Poinsettia 'Mars Marble' creates a soft variegation of cream and pink and makes a nice transition between pink and white-bracted poinsettias.

We grow several white-bracted poinsettias and 'Freedom White' is probably our most spectacular but doesn't turn pure white until very late.

Poinsettia 'Premium White' has finished coloring up now and you can clearly see the flowers which are the yellow "nubbins" at the center of the beautifully pillowed white leaf bracts.

Donna and her crew have grown some tremendous "tree" poinsettias that are currently for sale on-line through our website. They are 'Peterstar Red' Poinsettias that do well grown this way.  Actually most of the varieties you have just observed in this blog are available for purchase at our gift shop: Perennial Gifts. They are not the mass produced varieties of the big box stores.

'Tis the season for decorating for the Holiday Season and I hope this showcase of almost half the varieties we grow inspires your own home's decor.  Almost all varieties can be observed at the Visitor Center's conservatory.  Come experience their splendor!  Poinsettias are surely one of the most beautiful and spectacular seasonal plants we grow at Powell Gardens.

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