I had the opportunity to visit Schaefer Greenhouses in Montgomery, IL for the first time today, and was in awe at the quality of the holiday plants, the friendliness and professionalism of the staff, and the exquisite cleanliness of the greenhouses. I don't know if I've ever been in a garden center or nursery where sanitation was so obviously a high priority. Needless to say, I came away impressed with the Schaefer's operation.
I also came away with two beautiful burgundy poinsettias (single stem, in 6.5 inch pots) to decorate our living room for the holidays. I chose the burgundy variety because its color and tone match our living room sofas perfectly and will bring an elegant formality to our holiday decorations that will go up in a couple of weeks.
The flowers in the center of the colorful bracts are just beginning to open, so the poinsettias should stay lush and healthy through the new year if watered properly.
Poinsettias that have grown under ideal conditions in a greenhouse up until the point of purchase are much healthier plants, and many growers use the premium on holiday plants sales to break into the black for the year. Although I may look for plant deals at chain box stores throughout the year, I make it a priority to purchase my poinsettias directly from a locally-owned nursery or grower to show my support for their business.