By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
A variety of colorful poinsettias and plants will be for sale in an annual event that has been held the past 22 years.
The 22nd Annual Oklahoma State University Poinsettia Sale is Nov. 29-30 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the teaching greenhouses near the OSU Colvin Center.
OSU Assistant Professor Bruce Dunn said approximately 2,500 poinsettias are grown and nearly all sell out in two days.
“It’s a pretty good turnout,” he said. “Thursdays are usually pretty packed.”
A myriad of sizes, including 4 1/2-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch pots with varying colors, are available for sale at different prices.
“We have all different colors so we have the traditional reds and then some dark reds, white, pink, marble, which is kind of a yellow and pink and then we’ve got these Winter Rose ones that people really like,” Dunn said.
The money supports future classes.
“We use it for teaching funds within the class,” he said. “The class takes field trips and then for pesticide certification, buying them studying materials; we use it for scholarships.”
Dunn said 12 students grew all of the plants.
“I break them off into groups and they are in charge of watering it, even on the weekends and taking care of it,” he said.
The sale has continued because of public support, Dunn said.
“Besides the poinsettias, we also grow some specialty crops,” he said. “We also have some dianthus, caladiums and we’ve also got some charred. Then, they’ve also got some ornamental cabbage.”
Senior horticulture student Jack Titchener said a few hundred either die or don’t get sold in the entire event.
“Usually it depends on how many people come out, kind of the weather, so about a couple hundred,” Titchener said.
He said while all the plants are in big groups, it’s important to focus not only on the group, but individual plants.
“The hardest part about doing this, besides potting 2,000 of them up, was essentially going around ... sensing what each one needs,” he said.
The students monitor the plants and how they grow throughout the season. Titchener said this project has helped him in his future plans.
“I actually do want to start maybe a greenhouse production, something similar to this,” he said. “Start off, plan your seasons, know which kind of crop you want to grow, know who you’re going to sell it to and fill in the gaps in between. That’s what this class helps you do.”
As for the consumer, Titchener said they will have more to choose from than the normal fare at surrounding stores.
“We have a lot more varieties than places like that have, so kind of specialty type,” Titchener said. “I never knew there were pink ones and orange ones or even those Winter Rose that look very similar to roses, so it’s very interesting.”