Season 2 • Episode 21 - October 26, 2023

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Believe it or not, it is time for poinsettias. They are starting to make their appearance at local garden centers and other stores. The big push will be in a couple of weeks but you can get some nice plants right now. The big questions that we hear are "how do you grow them?", "how do I pick a good one?", and "how can I make it last?" To find out the answer to these questions we stopped by the Sherwood location of Al's Garden & Home (503-726-1162) and talked to Dorothy, the grower. She pulled a few plants out of the greenhouse to show us the different varieties and to explain how they are grown. They start growing them in the middle of summer and use a combination of light, shade, coolness and heat to trick the plants into producing wonderful color! Did you know that colors of poinsettias and holiday décor change every year? Buyers and designers at your local stores know this and try to bring in the new and "trending" decorations every year. This year they are growing 25 different varieties of poinsettias for their stores.

If you are looking for a good plant, first look for good branching. A single branch plant will not give you the bunches of blooms that you want. And speaking of blooms, the bright colors you see are not the flowers of the poinsettia. The flower is the small center buds that are usually yellow. The bright colors are modified leaves (bracts). As for the blooms you will want small, tight buds that are not yellow yet. That means they are early in their bloom cycle. Also look for good healthy green leaves under the brightly colored ones.

Now that you have picked out a good one, how can you make it last? Al's recommends that you treat your plant with tender loving care. Make sure that is doesn't get placed in too hot of a spot, that it doesn't get in too many drafts and keep it in bright non-direct sunlight. You will also want to water it regularly without overwatering or having it set in water. Remember to remove the decorative foil sleeve when you are watering it. If you follow these tips it will be around for a couple of months if not longer! You can find a sheet of 'care tips' at all Al's Garden & Home locations or on their website.

Also, you can find all of these varieties at the upcoming Al's Week of Lights event. Dorothy told us how you can experience a year of preparation for the holiday season at this event. Al's buyers have traveled far and wide to bring you the newest trends and decorating ideas. The event takes place at the Sherwood location on November 2nd from 4:00-8:00pm, the Gresham location on November 3rd from 4:00-8:00pm, the Wilsonville location on November 4th from 4:00-8:00pm and the Woodburn location on November 5th from 1:00-5:00pm! If you would like to see how they grow these beauties then you should take a tour of the Al's growing facilities at the Gresham location on November 5th. This is a great tour but it does require that you reserve your spot. Even if you can't make the tour, don't miss the party at your local Al's Garden & Home center.

During the holiday season you can also pick out some great holiday décor at all four stores. Each store has a huge selection of decorated trees to give you ideas on what you can do in your own home. This coming week is a great time to get started on your holiday prep, and have a wonderful evening strolling through the stores, enjoying live music, food and beverages, some time with Santa and even a 25 percent discount on your purchase (some restrictions apply). There are lots of opportunities to get you and your home ready for the wonderful holidays ahead.

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