Plymouth’s Len Busch Roses Produces Massive Poinsettia Crop
On a day when Minnesota was a much warmer place, the plants known for spreading holiday cheer were just a few inches tall.
Greenhouse technician Nikole Michaelson took special care to ensure she placed the poinsettias into their pots just the right way.
“Once [the machine] gets too fast, we get sloppy,” Michaelson said in July. “And we want them to grow straight up.”
Four and a half months later, it’s evident that all her hard work paid off.
“Yeah we started them in the summer, and now it’s November and they’re finally ready to be harvested and everything,” said Michaelson.
A few days before Thanksgiving, thousands of fully-grown poinsettias filled the greenhouses at Plymouth’s Len Busch Roses.
The plants receive just enough water thanks to an elaborate irrigation system as they await their next destination.
“Since [October], they have finished expanding, growing in size and in height,” said Sara Bacon, production crop planner at Len Busch Roses. “You can see that they’re all pretty much ready to ship now.”
By Christmas Eve, they’ll ship out 115,000 of the festive plants to businesses in the five-state area.
“The poinsettia crop is actually very important to us,” Bacon said. “It’s the largest single crop that we do at the end of the year.”
Many of the plants go out looking as natural as can be, but then there are the clients who want a poinsettia with a little more pizzazz.
Poinsettias With Pizzazz
About 10 percent of the crop gets a coating of fresh paint and glitter to give it a more festive feel. The finished product looks like something out of a fantasy land.
“The paint and glitter is actually very expensive to buy,” Bacon said. “So we need to up-charge for that, plus the labor, to make it look like that.”
It’s one reason why the majority of the poinsettias sent out to clients are the traditional ones. Frank Bohlander, owner of Best Wishes Floral in Golden Valley, is one of the recipients.
“They’re just bright and bold and they’re a part of our culture and they kind of scream Christmas for us,” Bohlander said.
Bohlander says his store usually sells about 200 hundred of the plants by the end of the season. But before that happens, he spends time dressing them up for the customers without compromising their natural beauty.
“It gives the plants a little more impact visually,” Bohlander said.
It’s a little impact that goes a long way to spreading Christmas cheer. And it all started inside a greenhouse in Plymouth.
“Yeah, it’s amazing what they come out to look like,” Michaelson said. “Some are so big. Some are small. Flowers are amazing.”