Poinsettias Preparations Underway in Orange County - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Poinsettias Preparations Underway in Orange County

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The holiday season may seem far away, but preparations are already underway at Battlefield Farms in Orange County.  The farmers are hard at work growing over one million poinsettias.

This is the busiest time of year for the growers.  They will ship over one million poinsettias to stores across the county in a span of just four weeks.    

This time of year 40 acres of poinsettias pack the walls of Battlefield Farms.  On some days, they use blinders to help block sunlight from the plants.

"A lot of people don't understand the way they flower, they actually need short days to flower," said section grower Andrew Eye. 

Growers are assigned sections of the 40 acres to focus on and an overhead conveyer belt also helps with the labor.  The plants move along a conveyer belt to take their turn getting watered. Depending on the size of the plan, it is watered once or twice a week. 

Just because these plants are on tables once a year, it doesn't mean the demand isn't high.

Michael De Nobel, a Battlefield Farms senior sales account representative, said, "I believe poinsettias is the largest potted crop in the United States, so there is a lot of poinsettias being grown this time of year by greenhouses like us."

Because all of the plants must be shipped out in a four-week span, shipping team employees will work 12 to 16 hour days, loading trucks and making sure the plants hit the shelves of a store near you.

"They will put them on these rolling racks, bring them back to the warehouse, depending whether or not they are shipped out on these rolling racks or put into boxes, then they will be put into the truck," said Thomas Russell with the Battlefield Farms shipping department. 

The trucks are heated to 65 degrees to keep the plants warm.  Poinsettias will be in stores right after Thanksgiving.

Reported by Molly Balkenbush

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