Moore has green thumb for poinsettias
By Faith Bemiss Democrat Reporter email@example.com
Dave Moore, 74, has been growing poinsettias for 15 years, and goes the extra mile to insure poinsettias sold by his family’s greenhouse and flower shop in Sedalia, are healthy, beautiful and full of variety.
Moore, who along with his wife Rhoda and son Kevin Moore, own Moore’s Greenhouses and Flower shop, is the sole care taker for the business’s poinsettia varieties for the holiday season, although his work starts long before Christmas.
“We’ve probably got five or six (varieties), these are called Winter Rose,” he said walking through his greenhouse on Saturday. “These are Jingle Bells and these are Ice Punch.”
The Winter Rose variety looks like its name sake with the petals or brackets curling together in a rose-like formation, while Jingle Bells are a festive bright red with white speckles and Ice Punch have a softly variegated garnet and cream coloration.
“But there’s, I don’t know how many varieties, you can’t get them all,” he added.
Moore said that the reds, such as Red Prestige, are still the most popular for the holidays.
He also carries white and pink varieties as well as variegated poinsettias.
“It used to be that red was all we grew, but then is seemed like the women liked a little different color in the house,” he said.
Moore works the greenhouses, although sometime he delivers flowers, but one will usually find him planting or watering the many flowers, plants and vegetables grown in the family’s several greenhouses, which have been in business for half a century. He begins his poinsettias in late summer.
“We start them about the 15th of August, and they start turning red probably about the first week in November. It used to be that they wouldn’t start turning red until almost Christmas, and you only had one or two colors.”
Over the years the varieties have gotten fancier as the growers improved them Moore said.
“They keep coming out with them earlier than they used to, and it seems like they hold up a little better than they used to.”
Moore said for a poinsettia to turn its respective color it needs an equal amount of light and dark which begins to happen as the days gets shorter.
“It has a sensitivity to the light,” he said. “I think it’s around the 15th of October when the days start getting closer together—the same amount of daylight as you have darkness. If you leave them in the house they’ll just stay green.”
If you want a poinsettia, in the house, to gain its color you must simulate complete darkness every day consistently—such as it is in the greenhouse at night.
“We have a pole light out here and we have to have it turned off,” he said. “Because it will effect the poinsettias.”
To help his poinsettias reach prime blooming, each day Moore removes the shade cloth covering the greenhouse to allow optimum sun exposure during the day. He then replaces it each night to dim even neighboring business lights in the area.
“They say if it’s bright enough to read a newspaper, then that’s too bright for your poinsettia at night,” he added. “In the daytime they like all the daylight they can get.”
Moore’s best tip for keeping a poinsettia healthy is not over-watering.
“They need to be watered but every home is different,” he said. “You can’t just say well water it every two days. You can’t do that, because some people run their house a little cooler, or maybe a breeze blows on it and dries it out or it’s sitting next to the heater or vent.”
Moore suggested watering it when it’s just dry to the touch. Also when a poinsettia sits in a decorative sleeve, the water can’t drain.
“Ideally you take them out of the sleeve,” Moore said. “And put them in the sink and water them good, where the water runs through them, then pick it up and put it back in your sleeve.”
Additional tips from Moore’s are : Place the poinsettia in a room with bright natural light, protect it from drafts of hot or cold air, if poinsettia is wrapped in foil poke holes for drainage and place a drip sauce under it, discard excess water from drip saucer, use lukewarm water for watering and fertilize it with a general purpose fertilizer every fourth watering.
For more information about poinsettias call Moore’s, at 827-5800. Moore’s, located at 3311 Green Ridge Rd., also carries fresh holiday greenery for wreaths and grave covers.
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