KING, N.C. – Holiday decorations are going up, and for many, that includes poinsettias.
- The 88 varieties of them at Mitchell's Greenhouse include over 40 different reds.
- The familiar decoration was brought to the U.S. in the 1800s by the ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett.
- NC State University estimates that growers here produce some 4.3 million poinsettia plants a year.
Judy Mitchell, of Mitchell's Greenhouse, started growing poinsettias 22 years ago to bring in customers in slow winter months.
"November/December is usually a dead time, trees and shrubs, so that keeps customers coming in, said Mitchell.
This year the nursery's grown about 9,600 plants. The 88 varieties include over 40 different reds.
“The varieties they have, the pinks and combinations, and the whites, it's amazing," said customer Kim McManus.
The familiar decoration of the holiday seasons was brought to the U.S. in the 1800s by the ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett, where the plants are native.
He had a greenhouse in South Carolina and he started propagating them and passing around the different ones," said McManus.
Mitchell's is one of two nurseries in North Carolina that does some market research in conjunction with growers, by letting visitors vote on their favorites each year.
Some of the plants may only be identified by a number, and have names like Ruby Frost and Gold Rush.
"It's not on the market yet, it's still in the testing stages. If it does good this year, they'll probably name it and bring [it] to market maybe next year,” said Mitchell.
Some don’t think it’s Christmas without the flower.
"Oh no, not at all, you have to have poinsettias," said Karen Perry of High Point.
The plants are big business in North Carolina. NC State University estimates that growers here produce some 4.3 million poinsettia plants a year.