More Than Just Flowers: How Poinsettias Are Growing Palmer Home’s Children

September 28, 2016

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Bright red poinsettias are as much a part of Christmas as the Christmas tree. Each year over 63 million pots of poinsettias will be sold in the United States, a small portion of them from Palmer Home’s Hope Grows greenhouses.

Palmer Home children plant the poinsettias during the last few months of summer—usually July or August. Long before they appear in your church’s sanctuary or your company’s lobby, Hope Grows poinsettias have received intense care on our campus.

Children involved in the eight-week Poinsettia program enjoy seeing the plants change from a four-inch transplant into an eighteen-inch, deep red blooming plant. Participating in the program requires the children to care for the plants every day, regardless of the weather or their other commitments. It’s another way Hope Grows builds work ethic and instills pride for a job well done in Palmer Home children.

In order for a poinsettia’s leaves to change to the deep red color so popular in the Christmas plant, they must have several weeks of 12 hour nights, something that doesn’t happen naturally in late September and early October in Mississippi. To stimulate the color changing process, the children drape the plants with a black plastic covering around 5 p.m every day, and return to the greenhouses early each morning before school to uncover the plants.

After six weeks of these “long nights”, the plants will begin their color transformation just in time for Christmas deliveries. Orders are already being taken for these gorgeous holiday decorations through our website. Single orders will be available for pick up at Palmer Home’s Columbus  campus, while orders of multiple plants will be delivered to locations within 120 miles of Columbus starting the first part of December.

Your purchase of a poinsettia not only adds color and cheer to your Christmas decor, but it supports Palmer Home’s mission to rescue and restore the lives of children. Working in our Hope Grows greenhouses helps teach our children values such as responsibility, dependability and sustainability. Seeing funds from the Poinsettias that they raised in turn support the needs of Palmer Home builds confidence in the children who worked day after day to care for them. Read more about the work of Hope Grows on our campus and in the lives of our children (after you order your poinsettia of course!).