Our most recent event was held at the Bachman's growing range in Lakeville. We got to tour the nine acres of green houses that featured poinsettias.
Our tour guide, Jason, gave an excellent tour all about the commercial production of the plants, their blooming period, some of the pest problems associated with large-space growing and different watering practices.
The Bachman's range has automated and even more updated, automated watering systems that control the amount of water and fertilizer being delivered to the plants. Some of the crop is watered with an individual water nozzle placed at soil level in each pot which is connected to a main water line. Some of the plants are grown in trays which are sensor controlled to be flooded and then drained at specific times. Even the overhead hanging plants are on moving conveyor lines so that each plant receives exactly the right nutrients and water and is easier to move and process for sale. In the picture above the lines of plants are approximately 150 feet long. Each of the main houses that we were guided through contained nearly two acres under glass.
There were a number of different colors of poinsettias being grown for sale. Some with foliar variegation and some with smaller, double "flower heads" that are called Christmas Roses.
Some of the white poinsettias that you can see in this picture are used for a new "designer" look in holiday decor. The light colored ones are sprayed with a dye solution which dries quickly on the colored bracts (flowers) and then they have a light glue sprayed on them so that the sprinkling of glitter adheres to the plant. The effect is that you can have any colored poinsettia, from blue to burgundy to speckled with the glittering look of fallen snow on them. This rather interesting method of "enhancing" them certainly adds to the variety of product that you can get for your holiday decorating. Bachman's produces all of the poinsettias that their retail outlets sell for the season.