Horticulture Club selling the perfect holiday gift

You can get your Christmas poinsettias through the UConn Horticulture Club this holiday season. (Photo courtesy of Justin Ferreira)

The UConn Horticulture Club is selling poinsettias, the popular Christmas houseplant, just in time for the holiday season, Kevin Shen, social media chair for Horticulture Club, said.

This year the Horticulture Club is selling four different colors and three different sizes, Justin Ferreira, Horticulture Club president, said. The sizes are four, six and eight inches, but they sold out of the eight-inch variety with preorders.

“The colors we are selling is a Luv U Hot Pink, Princettia Pure White and Christmas Day Red, all of which are beautiful vibrant colors,” Ferreira said. “We have one trial poinsettia called Rosebud Red which is a bit of a twist on the typical-looking poinsettia, given that the leaves are curled and fold into a red rose like coloring at the top.”

In order to get the right size, it helps to think how one wants to display the plant, Ferreira said.

“The four inches makes for a good desk size poinsettia, six inches is more of a centerpiece or gift and the eight inches make for good decoration for around the house,” Ferreira said.

The native Mexican plant, poinsettias, get their festive colors of red and white from their leaves, not from their flowers, Shen said. Their leaves are the perfect colors for decorations.

“If a student wanted one, [poinsettias are] a really pretty plant,” Shen said. “If you are really into Christmas decorations, it adds a nice color [especially the white and ruby red] that normally wouldn’t be there.”

The poinsettias require little care, Ferreira said. The most important thing is to make sure the plant is not out in the cold for too long.

“They like bright direct light and should be watered only when the top inch of the soil media is dry, keeping them too wet or letting them stand in water can result in disease,” Ferreira said.

People do not have to worry about poinsettias being as deadly and poisonous as they are rumored to be. According to the Pet Poison Hotline, poinsettias are mildly poisonous to animals if they ingest the leaves. This could lead to mild vomiting or skin irritation.

“It is really hyped as a really poisonous plant, but it is only mildly poisonous to cats and dogs,” Shen said. “The poisonousness is really exaggerated. It is not something considered lethal. I have cats and it is not lethal to them but it is an irritant more or less.”

Although most people purchase poinsettias only for the holiday season, they can last up to one year if they are maintained properly, Ferreira said.

“In the spring the plants should be cut to cause a flush of growth, in early fall around Oct. 1, the poinsettias will need to be moved somewhere they can get 12 hours of uninterrupted night, meaning no light, this photoperiod is required for the plant to bloom,” Ferreira said. “Most of our customers in the past have been able to keep their plants until the next year, often losing them to the first outdoor frost.”

Ferreira said people should buy a poinsettia for the holiday season because they can be a good present for anyone.

“Mostly because they are lovely,” Ferreira said. “Poinsettias also make great gifts or even just a nice surprise for mom as you head home for break.”

In addition to poinsettias, the Horticulture Club is also selling rosemary trees decorated with lights, Ferreira said.

The UConn Horticulture Club is selling their poinsettias at the UConn Floriculture Building from Dec. 3 to Dec. 14. The four inch is $5 and the six inch is $10. The rosemary trees decorated with lights are $40 and $35 undecorated.

On Dec. 3, 5, 7 and 9, the Horticulture Club will be selling from noon to 6:30 p.m. From Dec. 10 to Dec. 14, they will be selling from noon to 6 p.m.


Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.philipson@uconn.edu.