Horticulture business management student Laura Benthall prepares a colorful crop of poinsettias on sale now at SUNY Morrisville. Benthall is from Kirkville. Photo by Ken Chapman, New Media Strategist

SUNY Morrisville is selling a seasonal favorite grown by students

SUNY Morrisville is selling a colorful array of poinsettias. The popular, decorative plants are on sale now through Dec. 7 at the Spader Horticulture Complex on the SUNY Morrisville campus from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The sale is open to the public.

The college’s poinsettias will also be sold from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Regional Market in Syracuse, in the C Shed.

This year’s crop, grown by students in the college’s horticulture production class, produced more than 1,400 cuttings.

New this year is Princettia Dark Pink. Also featured in the sale are Titan Red (large red); Prestige Red; Ferrara (bright red); Sonora Early White Glitter (medium red with white spots); Ice Punch (bright red mixed with white and pink); White Star (creamy white); Princettia Pure White; Sparkling Punch (red and white multi-colored), Cortez Burgundy and Gold Rush.

The college’s Horticulture Institute plans and runs the sale, which raises money for the college’s horticulture program. Through the institute, students gain hands-on entrepreneurial experience, which builds their skills and makes them marketable in their field.

Three poinsettias sizes are available: small – $4.50; medium – $7; and extra-large, (three cuttings per pot) – $16.

Only cash and checks are accepted as payment.

SUNY Morrisville offers an associate degree in horticulture with options in landscape development and greenhouse production, an associate degree in landscape design and management and a bachelor’s degree in horticulture business management.

Origin of the poinsettia and other facts

  • Joel Roberts Poinsett, an amateur botanist and the first United States ambassador to Mexico, introduced the plant that became known as the poinsettia to this country after he discovered a shrub with brilliantly colored red leaves growing by the side of the road in Taxco, Mexico, in December 1828.
  • December 12 is National Poinsettia Day and the United States has observed this official day since the mid-1800s to honor the man and the plant he introduced.
  • The showy, colored parts of a poinsettia are not flowers; they are actually modified leaves called “bracts.”
  • In Mexico, the poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10-15 feet tall.
  • There are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias available today. Poinsettias come in a variety of colors including red, salmon, burgundy, apricot, yellow, cream and white. There are also speckled or marbled varieties.

Caring for poinsettia plants

  • Avoid hot or cold drafts.
  • Keep the soil moist, not soggy. Water when the soil begins to dry.
  • Place in a room with sufficient natural light and temperatures of around 60 to 70 degrees.
  • Protect plants from exposure to wind or cold when transporting as they are highly sensitive to cold temperatures.
  • Place in indirect sunlight for at least six hours. If direct sun can’t be avoided, diffuse light with a shade or a sheer curtain.

By martha

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