Photographer's Note

There is definitely something very appealing about gardening in Andalucía. The drawback however is that you can spend an inordinate amount of money on plants and shrubs, only to discover that they fail miserably in this sun-drenched climate. There is no excuse. All novice gardeners have to do is study what thrives here and visit their local vivero for advice. There are some marvelous hardy plants and shrubs which grow quite happily with very little water.

Poinsettias were attached to Christmas starting in 1828. Joel Roberts Poinsett, then the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico, imported the plant from Mexico. In warm climates, the poinsettia grows outdoors as a winter-flowering leggy shrub about 3 metres (10 feet) high; as a potted plant in northern areas it rarely grows beyond 1 metre. What appear to be petals are actually coloured leaflike bracts that surround a central cluster of tiny yellow flowers. A milky latex in the stems and leaves can be irritating to some people or animals, but the claim that poinsettias are deadly poisonous is greatly exaggerated.

Greenhouse operators have become quite efficient in growing poinsettias, so while the market is relatively large, profits remain small due to over-production.

A heated greenhouse structure is necessary for producing poinsettias. Poinsettias are sensitive to day length. Flowers are initiated in mid-to-late September, depending on the variety, and require less than 12 hours of daylight continuously to initiate bloom production. Lighting from artificial sources, such as street lights, can delay flowering.

Poinsettia production is a high-risk business with significant startup costs as well as demanding labor and management. Initial investments include greenhouse construction, production system costs and equipment. The cost of a production-ready greenhouse, excluding land costs, can run approximately $10 per square foot. Some growers choose to produce poinsettias in a rotation with bedding plants. This enables them keep their greenhouse in full production year round and to receive some profits during the fall.

This photo shows just a small part of Viveros Reina nursery in Motril where poinsettia is grown. The nursery grows many other plants, from roses to orchids.

Kenny10pin, mumek, eleparc, wilkinsonsg, chinchini, Hanso2, nwoehnl, Tue, cam, ChristianS, cmartos, aznegrao, apazevedo ha contrassegnato questa nota come utile

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Additional Photos by Rob Janovski (robiuk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1690 W: 182 N: 2457] (10807)
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