Poinsettia program benefits students

Published 5:11 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It’s a popular tradition for local churches to decorate their buildings with poinsettias around Christmastime. Many of these plants come from the Horticulture Department at LeCroy Career/Technical Center, which uses the proceeds to educate students about plant growth and care.

The school begins growing poinsettias in late August and has them available for purchase through Christmas. Two plants are planted in 8-inch pots, which come with a pot cover and are priced at $7 apiece.

“Churches have depended on us for a number of years,” said horticulture instructor Dodd Granger. “This is not a money-making venture; it’s more of an instructional venture, but it’s still to benefit the community also.”

Throughout the program, students learn about fungicide and pesticide techniques and other specific requirements for successfully growing poinsettias.

Granger said poinsettias are “photo periodic,” which means the daylight hours trigger the bracts, or upper leafs, to turn red.

“Poinsettias are pretty temperamental,” Granger said. “They’re not super easy to grow. That makes them a good teaching tool because you have to be particular in so many areas.”

Anyone may purchase poinsettias from the school. For more information, call LeCroy Career/Technical Center at 280-2920.