If you planned on buying a poinsettia plant for the holidays but haven’t got around to it, it’s probably going to be slim pickings.
The late summer heat combined with heavy rains left many of this year’s crop green with envy.
Although poinsettias come in a variety of colors, including white, the color of choice is holiday red.
Unfortunately for some poinsettia farmers, many of the so-called late bloomers never changed color.
“It was very difficult for us, a lot of work,” said Bill Durston, Leilani Nursery. “We were very fortunate that we never had a really big Kona storm this year when the winds could’ve been much more devastating.”
Durston has been growing poinsettias for more than 30 years. He focuses mainly on early bloomers, so it’s a merry Christmas for him.
“I’m very happy with the way things turned out. We survived all the heavy rains and October and then we got rid of 95 percent of our poinsettias with a few days left,” he said.
Six weeks ago, his farm was a sea of red. On Thursday afternoon, it was less 75,000 plants, many of the ones left still tinged with green.
“(We have) this whole field and the solid red poinsettias are way down there in the other field,” Durston said. “We have a few left for churches here, but we’re just about sold out.”
For retailers like Watanabe Floral, holiday business is brisk, but they tell us this year’s allocation of poinsettias is only a fraction of what it usually is.
“One of the things that you’ll notice is, they’re not as red as normal,” said Monty Pereira, Watanabe Floral. “That’ll be attributed to the tons of rain that we had back in August and September that did not allow the plants to mature and color up as usual.”
Pereira says customers have been coming in daily asking about poinsettias. Although they finally got a significant delivery, he admits the choices are somewhat limited.
“We are just trying to educate people about what they can try to do to help them color up a little bit, but I think this is what we’re going to see this year,” Pereira said.