RINGGOLD, Ga. - Along with a decorated tree and a jolly man in a bright red suit, the poinsettia stands as one of the most iconic symbols of the holiday season — and right now, Metro Atlanta Pike Nurseries locations are blanketed in red, thanks to the popular plant. But did you ever stop to wonder…where do all those poinsettias come from?
The Good Day Feature Team took an early morning drive up I-75 this morning to find the answer. We spent the morning at the Pike Nurseries Farm in Ringgold, Georgia — which happens to be the company’s newest and largest facility. And just how large are we talking? The Pike team is able to grow millions of plants a year at the ten-acre farm, which are then shipped to the 18 retail locations (most of which are in Metro Atlanta).
Back to the poinsettias — Pike Nurseries Farm General Manager Kelley Holmquist tells us they receive poinsettia cuttings from Central America in June, which are then hand-planted in specially-formulated soil at the farm. And here’s an interesting fact — to turn that vivid red color, the plants need about 14 hours of darkness per day. Holmquist adds that Pike Nurseries grows more than 20 different varieties of poinsettia (with colors including red, white, and pink) — and that they’ll grow more than 17,000 poinsettia plants total this season.
What about caring for poinsettias once they’re in the home? Here are a few tips — keep them indoors, and avoid overwatering. Also, keep them at a consistent temperature (between 60 and 75 degrees) and away from air vents or fireplaces, which can give off too much heat and dry air for the plants.
For more tips on caring for poinsettias — and to see the Pike Nurseries Farm in Ringgold — click on the video player!