Last weekend, when I visited our local garden center, I was somewhat disappointed in the quality of the poinsettias. The flowers had already been snipped out of many of the plants, a sure sign they’d come into flower early and would be less likely to last through the holiday season. When I heard about the poinsettias being sold as a University of Illinois Conservatory and Plant Collections fundraiser, I made a trip over to the Plant Sciences Lab to purchase some.
I bought two ‘Sonora White Glitter’ and two ‘Ice Punch’ poinsettias to use as Christmas decorations in our house. I generally move a few houseplants out of our living room and put the poinsettias in their place. The combination of the poinsettia red with the greens of our normal houseplants creates a striking visual effect for the holidays.
‘Sonora White Glitter’ is by far my favorite poinsettia. The flecked bracts come in a variety of patterns from white/red to dark green/maroon and many combinations in between.
‘Ice Punch’ is a traditional red poinsettia whose bracts are white-washed down the center with a white/pink brush effect. This is a new variety for me, and I’m quite taken with the watercolor effect.
The poinsettias available via the fundraiser were excellent quality plants, most still tight in bud. With poinsettias, it’s important to buy plants whose flowers haven’t opened yet. This will ensure a much longer-lasting plant in your home for the holidays.
The holiday plant sale is open from 10am-3pm on Saturday, December 3 and 1-3pm on Sunday, December 4. Along with poinsettias, a small number of other holiday gift plants will be available for sale. In addition to ‘Sonora White Glitter’ and ‘Ice Punch’ poinsettias I purchased, the sale also includes red, white and even orange varieties. The Plant Sciences Lab is located at 1201 S. Dorner Drive in Urbana, IL.
The U of I Conservatory and Plant Collections are a great resource for the community. If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area, stop by to buy some great quality plants and help support the conservatory in the process.