Celebrating National Poinsettia Day

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From left, Bountiful Gardens Operations Manager Mike Mills, Bountiful Gardens Owner Lisa Miccolis, and NJDA Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Joe Atchison. PHOTO COURTESY OF NJDA

New Jersey Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Joe Atchison III visited the Bountiful Garden’s Lawrenceville location in Mercer County to highlight that poinsettias are now being shipped by New Jersey greenhouses and nursery growers.

National Poinsettia Day was on Dec. 12.

New Jersey is No. 5 in the U.S. in wholesale poinsettia plants sold in the USDA’s (United States Department of Agriculture) most recent Census of Horticulture. The summary reported 65 operations sold 1.8 million plants for a value of $10.2 million. The nursery sector is the largest commodity group in New Jersey agriculture with an annual value of more than a half billion dollars.

“Poinsettias with their bright and beautiful colors enhance the display of any holiday setting or celebration,” Atchison said. “The producers here in New Jersey grow plants that are tailored to meet the needs of homeowners, businesses, and institutions. Purchasing poinsettias from a local nursery or greenhouse adds to the state economy and supports local families.”

Bountiful Gardens is owned by Lisa Miccolis and has been in business since 2006. Bountiful Gardens is an active member of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association and has locations in Hillsborough and Ewing as well. They purchase their poinsettias from Lennon Farm Greenhouses in Medford, finishing the growing process in their own greenhouses. This specific holiday crop is used as a decoration in the home, at the office, in many churches, as well as at holiday parties and other events in the region.

“Poinsettias provide a wonderful backdrop to a wide range of events during this holiday season,” Miccolis said. “They are an excellent complement in a variety of settings.”

Poinsettias are easy to care for and should be watered only when dry to the touch. Locate the plant in a bright, cool place, avoiding drafts. Also, poinsettias should be kept away from heating vents and other sources of heat, such as fireplaces and radiators.

Today’s poinsettia plant has a storied history in New Jersey. The “Oak Leaf” poinsettia was introduced by Mrs. Enteman in Jersey City in the 1920s and dominated the field for the next 40 years as it was the first cultivar suitable for growing in a pot.

National Poinsettia Day was created by an Act of Congress to enjoy the beauty of the plant, first introduced in the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett.