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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Poinsettia_Ice_Punch_BehnkePoinsettia ‘Ice Punch’

If you are like me, the colors of Autumn signify the arrival of the holiday season. As the leaves change color and drop to earth, everyone at Behnke’s is preparing the garden center for the holidays.  The Christmas Shop is open and has wonderful ornaments and decorations.  Lights are going up around the nursery and the greenhouses are being prepped  for the arrival of holiday plants such as cyclamen, Christmas cactus and of course my all time favorite, poinsettias.

Sissy McKenzie, our store manager,  and I regularly visit our local and regional growers to evaluate their poinsettia crops so that we get only the best for our customers.  Over the years Sissy has literally grown over a million poinsettias, so she knows what to look for!  We were really excited to see some new varieties in the “Novelty” category. Although red is still the biggest seller in the poinsettia world, more and more people are trying the more unique varieties.

Poinsettia_autumn-leavesPoinsettia ‘Autumn Leaves’

For Thanksgiving we will be featuring poinsettia varieties Autumn Leaves and Orange Spice.  Autumn Leaves literally resembles the color of fall leaves.  The bracts of this variety are a rich yellow with small pink flecks. The amount of pink is slight at first but becomes more prevalent as the bracts mature, while the yellow becomes more intense. We trialed these beauties last season and they were a huge success. Orange Spice would also make a wonderful hostess gift for Thanksgiving.  Although not new for this year, it’s still uncommon.  Our growers have worked to ensure plenty of red-orange bract color as Thanksgiving approaches.

Back by popular demand for Christmas is Luv U Pink. Intense hot-pink bracts stand out atop dark green foliage. We’ll also have plenty of popular varieties Shimmer Surprise, Chianti, Winter Rose Red, Carousel and my all time  favorite, Ice Punch. We are pleased to offer a new novelty –Jingle Bell Rock–which has a bright red background with a blaze of white through the middle.  If you want something truly unique, we recommend Princettia.  Princettia offers gorgeous shades of pink and white; however, the bracts are smaller than traditional poinsettias and will definitely be a topic for discussion.

poinsettia_jingle-bell-rockPoinsettia ‘Jingle Bell Rock’

Whether you purchase a traditional red poinsettia or one of the many novelty poinsettias, don’t forget to stop by and check out the Christmas Trees and wreaths and other holiday greens to brighten your holiday season.

First arrival of Poinsettias will be the week of November 16th, hope to see you then!  Best selection on novelty varieties from December 1 to December 15.

by Marian Parsley, Behnke’s Annual Buyer

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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