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Your poinsettia might have been grown in KC metro

Posted: 7:52 PM, Dec 08, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-08 20:52:05-05

LINWOOD, Kan. -- Free State Growers in Linwood, Kansas, is one of the oldest greenhouses in the metro. It’s been in business since 1919.  

Chances are those poinsettias in your home, your office or nearby store were grown there.  

Mark Illausky gave 41 Action News a tour of the Free State Growers Greenhouse. He also gave us more insight on the poinsettia and its history.  

“It’s a Mexican plant, and it has a Mexican heritage. It was traditionally bloomed or came into color around the Christmas season,” he said. 

Illausky said growing the plant actually starts in the summer.  

“Most of the cuttings comes from Central America. They arrive in June.  We’ll put those together,” he said. “Once we get those stuck, we put them out in the greenhouse. We let them grow under mist until they get to a certain size and then we start to space them.”

The poinsettias start to change color around the end of October from green to red. 

Illausky said Free State Growers has already shipped out roughly 65,000 poinsettias. In the coming days, nearly 40,000 more will be distributed. 

And since it’s grown and sold locally, all the money stays planted.  

“That money stays right here,” Illausky explained. “When they buy plants, they know they’re coming from a local grower. They know that they’re fresh.”

Free State Growers will start taking orders for 2018 poinsettias as soon as December 26. Right now, in December they’re growing and cultivating the summer and tropical plants.