A Christmas tradition… Poinsettia season arrives


Poinsettia season arrives

By Mindy Kearns - Special to OVP



Red as far as one can see fill the greenhouses at Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. in Mason, as it is time for the holiday poinsettias. The traditional red flower makes up 75 percent of Bob’s total 70,000 poinsettias this year, which also come in colors such as white, pink, marble, and many others. Pictured is just a section of one of the greenhouses abounding with color. (Mindy Kearns | Courtesy)

Red as far as one can see fill the greenhouses at Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. in Mason, as it is time for the holiday poinsettias. The traditional red flower makes up 75 percent of Bob’s total 70,000 poinsettias this year, which also come in colors such as white, pink, marble, and many others. Pictured is just a section of one of the greenhouses abounding with color. (Mindy Kearns | Courtesy)


While the traditional red is by far the most popular color of poinsettias, they come in many colors and variations. Pictured is a white poinsettia, with a light shade of pink running through the bracts. (Mindy Kearns | Courtesy)


Bob’s Market co-owner Scott Barnitz is pictured during a previous growing season in the poinsettia greenhouse. (OVP File Photo)


Pictured from a previous Christmas is the annual poinsettia tree at Trinity Congregational Church in Pomeroy. The tree is traditionally assembled by members of the church in the weeks leading up to Christmas. (OVP File Photo)


Poinsettia points of interest from the USDA

- The poinsettia the most popular Christmas plant and the number-one flowering potted plant in the US. Its traditional sales period is just 6 weeks.

- Last year, the wholesale value of the poinsettia crop reached nearly $170 million-a jump of more than 400 percent from 1976.

- The poinsettia, a contemporary symbol of Christmas, was introduced to the United States and named after Joel Robert Poinsett in 1825, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

- The Aztec Indians prized poinsettias and considered them a symbol of purity because of their brilliant red color, they made a reddish-purple dye from the colored “flowers” (called bracts) and medicine against fevers from the latex sap of the plant.

Information found at https://www.ars.usda.gov/oc/images/photos/k7244-2

MASON, W.Va. — We see them everywhere during the holiday season.

Poinsettias are the traditional Christmas flower, and this time of year they adorn our homes, businesses and churches. And when you see a poinsettia locally, chances are it was one of the 70,000 grown at Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. in Mason.

Bob’s greenhouses are full of the blooms in shades of red, pink, white and marble. Some have catchy names, like “Red Glitter,” “Ice Punch,” and “Winter Rose.” According to Scott Barnitz, a vice-president at Bob’s, the traditional red remains the favorite year after year, and makes up 75 percent of their production.

Along with various colors, poinsettias also come in a variety of sizes. Barnitz said the local greenhouse grows the flower in four-and-a-half, six-and-a-half, eight, 10, and 14 inch pots. Most of the 14-inch poinsettias, however, are shipped to Bob’s Pittsburgh warehouse, to be purchased by businesses as far as New York. Barnitz said those plants can get as large as some Christmas trees.

While many people enjoy poinsettias at this time of year, Barnitz laughed and said workers at the greenhouses are tired of looking at them. With one of the longest growing season of any flower, the workers have been nurturing the plants since the end of June.

The poinsettias are ordered in May from places such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico as cuttings. Barnitz describes them as “back-end, weighted crops,” which means after the long growing season, they are mostly sold during a two-week period from Dec. 10 to Christmas.

Knowing how many cuttings to order in May for December is always risky, Barnitz said, but ordering in the middle of a pandemic was like “rolling the dice.” He said Bob’s was “hurt severely” in the spring when the Pittsburgh area, which is very strong in purchasing Easter flowers, was mostly closed due to COVID-19.

Selling a lot of poinsettias each year to churches, Barnitz said their success will be directly affected by the churches being able to remain open with COVID-19 cases rising. Even though he said Bob’s is “holding its breath on this crop,” he remains optimistic. Barnitz said early sales have shown people who are stuck inside during the pandemic are having more time to spend decorating their homes, and flowers are more important to them.

Bob’s Market has three local retail stores, including Mason in West Virginia, and Gallipolis and Belpre in Ohio.

© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Red as far as one can see fill the greenhouses at Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. in Mason, as it is time for the holiday poinsettias. The traditional red flower makes up 75 percent of Bob’s total 70,000 poinsettias this year, which also come in colors such as white, pink, marble, and many others. Pictured is just a section of one of the greenhouses abounding with color. (Mindy Kearns | Courtesy)
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2020/11/web1_11.28-P1.jpgRed as far as one can see fill the greenhouses at Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. in Mason, as it is time for the holiday poinsettias. The traditional red flower makes up 75 percent of Bob’s total 70,000 poinsettias this year, which also come in colors such as white, pink, marble, and many others. Pictured is just a section of one of the greenhouses abounding with color. (Mindy Kearns | Courtesy)

While the traditional red is by far the most popular color of poinsettias, they come in many colors and variations. Pictured is a white poinsettia, with a light shade of pink running through the bracts. (Mindy Kearns | Courtesy)
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2020/11/web1_11.28-P2.jpgWhile the traditional red is by far the most popular color of poinsettias, they come in many colors and variations. Pictured is a white poinsettia, with a light shade of pink running through the bracts. (Mindy Kearns | Courtesy)

Bob’s Market co-owner Scott Barnitz is pictured during a previous growing season in the poinsettia greenhouse. (OVP File Photo)
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2020/11/web1_1202.Bobs_.jpgBob’s Market co-owner Scott Barnitz is pictured during a previous growing season in the poinsettia greenhouse. (OVP File Photo)

Pictured from a previous Christmas is the annual poinsettia tree at Trinity Congregational Church in Pomeroy. The tree is traditionally assembled by members of the church in the weeks leading up to Christmas. (OVP File Photo)
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2020/11/web1_Poinsettia-tree.jpgPictured from a previous Christmas is the annual poinsettia tree at Trinity Congregational Church in Pomeroy. The tree is traditionally assembled by members of the church in the weeks leading up to Christmas. (OVP File Photo)
Poinsettia season arrives

By Mindy Kearns

Special to OVP

Poinsettia points of interest from the USDA

– The poinsettia the most popular Christmas plant and the number-one flowering potted plant in the US. Its traditional sales period is just 6 weeks.

– Last year, the wholesale value of the poinsettia crop reached nearly $170 million-a jump of more than 400 percent from 1976.

– The poinsettia, a contemporary symbol of Christmas, was introduced to the United States and named after Joel Robert Poinsett in 1825, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

– The Aztec Indians prized poinsettias and considered them a symbol of purity because of their brilliant red color, they made a reddish-purple dye from the colored “flowers” (called bracts) and medicine against fevers from the latex sap of the plant.

Information found at https://www.ars.usda.gov/oc/images/photos/k7244-2

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.