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Morrisville State poinsettia sale features premium plants grown by students

MORRISVILLE, NY—Deep velvet red, bright red mixed with baby whites, white and peppermint—the Morrisville State College Horticulture Institute is selling its annual colorful crop of holiday poinsettias.

The festive blooms are for sale through Dec. 13 at the Spader Horticulture Complex on Morrisville State’s campus, Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. (open to the public) and also Dec. 7 and 14, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Regional Market in Syracuse. Floral arrangements and a limited number of festive holiday wreaths will also be sold at the market.

Reasonably priced, the potted decorations were grown by students in the college’s Horticulture Production class as part of an assignment. They started as rooted cuttings at the beginning of the semester, and when cultivated with students’ care and prime weather conditions, flourished into magnificent sights. This year’s crop produced more than 700 colorful blooms.

The college’s Horticulture Institute plans and runs the sale, which raises money to enhance the college’s horticulture program. Through the institute, students gain hands-on entrepreneurial experience that enhances their skills, making them marketable in their field.
Only cash and checks are accepted as payment for the sales.

Origin of the Poinsettia and Other Facts
Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, an amateur botanist and first United States ambassador to Mexico, introduced the plant that became known as the poinsettia to this country after he discovered a shrub with brilliantly colored red leaves growing by the side of the road in Taxco, Mexico, in December 1828.

December 12 is National Poinsettia Day and the United States has observed this official day since the mid-1800s to honor the man and the plant he introduced.

More than 65 million poinsettia plants are sold nationwide throughout the year.

Poinsettias come in a variety of colors from red, salmon, and apricot to yellow, cream, and white. There are also unusual speckled or marbled varieties like "Jingle Bells" and "Candy Cane" with several colors blended together.

Caring For Poinsettia Plants
Avoid hot or cold drafts, keep the soil moist not soggy, and place in a room with sufficient natural light and temperatures of around 60 to 70 degrees F. Water when the soil begins to dry.

Protect plants from exposure to wind or cold when transporting as they are highly sensitive to cold temperatures.

Place in indirect sunlight for at least six hours. If direct sun can’t be avoided, diffuse light with a shade or sheer curtain.

Students in Morrisville State’s associate degree horticulture program can choose from options in floral design, horticulture production, landscape development/management or general transfer. The college also offers a bachelor degree in horticulture business management and an associate degree in landscape architectural studies.

Morrisville State sets the world in motion for students. Curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Education Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.