Celebrate National Poinsettia Day with Coast to Coast

National Poinsettia Day is Wednesday, December 12 and Coast to Coast is here to help you celebrate the iconic red holiday plant that has become an unmistakable symbol of the season.

At first glance, it’s easy to admire the pretty Poinsettia and its bright crimson and green foliage but digging a little deeper into why the Poinsettia became such an important holiday symbol brings a much deeper appreciation for this phenomenal plant.

Poinsettia Garden Basket by Coast to Coast Flowers

According to a Mexican legend, a poor child who could not afford a gift for Christ on Christmas Eve was told that even the most humble gift, if given with love, would suffice in God’s eyes. The child carefully picked some weeds from the side of a road and brought them to church as an offering to make God happy. As soon as the child entered the church, the weeds bloomed into beautiful red and green flowers and the congregation was sure they had witnessed a Christmas miracle. From that day on, Poinsettias were known as ‘Flores de Noche Buena,’ or ‘Flowers of the Holy Night.’

In the United States, we typically associate the poinsettia with Christmas so dedicating December 12 as National Poinsettia Day seems like a natural fit – except the timing of the observance is merely a coincidence. In fact, the United States has observed this official day since the mid-1800s in honor of the passing of the first American ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, and the plant he introduced to the U.S.

In 1828, Poinsett discovered the plant with vivid red leaves by the side of a road in Mexico and sent some cuttings home to his residence in South Carolina. Initially, many botanists dismissed the Poinsettia as a weed, but Poinsett’s work with the plant caused it to eventually gain acceptance as a holiday plant.

The holiday season is always a special time in the floral industry, and the star of the show is, of course, the venerable Poinsettia plant. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Poinsettias are the highest selling potted flowering plant in America and account for nearly one-quarter of sales of all flowering potted plants throughout the entire year.

Here are some things you might not have known about the Poinsettia:

  • Poinsettias are native to southern Mexico and have been used in religious ceremonies and to decorate churches there for centuries as the red color is a symbol of purity.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettias are not poisonous to people or pets, although the plant has been known to cause stomach irritation and discomfort if ingested. The danger to pets and children comes from the choking hazard of the fibrous parts of the plant and not the toxicity.
  • Although every state in the U.S. grows Poinsettias commercially; for much of the past 100 years, the Ecke Ranch in California has grown over 70% of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and accounted for about 50% of the Poinsettias sold worldwide.
  • The word Poinsettia is traditionally capitalized because it was named after a person.
    The Poinsettia had its own college football bowl game. The Poinsettia Bowl debuted in San Diego in 1952 and originally served as the military services championship game for four years before being resurrected from 2005 to 2016.
  • In the wild, Poinsettias have been known to grow over 12 feet tall.
  • Roughly three-quarters of all Poinsettias sold in the United States are red, but they also appear in white, pink, salmon, apricot, yellow and multi-colored marbled or speckled varieties. Overall, there are more than 100 known Poinsettia varieties with new ones appearing every year.

Coast to Coast is your one-stop-shop for the holidays! From Poinsettias to holiday flowers and gifts, we can help you deck the halls and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Stop by or give us a call today and be sure to check out the holiday section of our website here.

The Easter Lily Capital of the World

It’s likely you’ve never heard of Smith River, California, but odds are that’s where your Easter Lily was grown. This fertile land – located in the far northwest corner of California – is home to less than 900 residents, but produces about 95% of the world’s Easter lily bulbs – making it the Easter Lily Capital of the World.

With towering redwood trees to the east and the sparkling Pacific Ocean to the west, this gorgeous river valley – comprised of about 600 acres – is considered the most ideal spot on Earth for growing Easter lily bulbs due to its nearly perfect growing climate and soil condition.

Easter Lily by Coast to Coast Flowers

In fact, only five Easter Lily bulb farms – owned by four families – produce up to 14 million bulbs each year. So how did this small strip of coastal land become such a dominant force in the production of Easter Lilies?

It all began in 1919 when a man named Louis Houghton introduced some hybrid lily bulbs to the south coast of Oregon and planted the seeds – so to speak – of what would become the Easter Lily Capital of the World. Prior to 1941, nearly all of the Easter lilies plants in North America were imported from Japan, but WWII changed that when Americans found themselves cut off from their beloved white lilies.

By 1945, Houghton’s crop had taken off and there were around 1,200 growers producing bulbs all along the Pacific Coast. That number would steadily drop as growers found the bulbs difficult to grow commercially.

It takes at least three years to grow the bulb to commercial size, and each year the bulbs must be dug up and sorted by hand – then either shipped to the greenhouse or replanted for another year.

Unlike other crops that are planted, left to grow, and harvested later, Easter Lily bulbs must be planted, harvested and shipped within a span of three months. That means in order to force the bulbs to bloom in time for Easter, they require 40 days of a forced artificial winter by refrigeration followed by a brief growing period in a high-temperature greenhouse.

The growing schedule is crucial since the value of the bulbs drops considerably even one day past Easter. To complicate matters, Easter doesn’t fall on the same day every year and can vary by as much as five weeks, so timing is everything.

With Easter only days away, this magnificent plant is available now. Give us a call or stop by and pick one out for your Easter celebration or check out our selection of Easter flowers.

Are you considering an Easter lily this year? Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your beautiful new plant.

  • If your Easter lily came with a decorative plastic, foil or paper wrapper, remove that as soon as possible in order to prevent the lily from becoming waterlogged.
  • When choosing a “home” for your lily makes sure to choose a location away from drafts and drying heat sources.
  • Water your plant if the surface feels dry, but be careful not to over-water. Easter lilies require a medium moisture level and should never stand in water for any length of time.
  • Potted Easter lilies kept indoors need bright, indirect natural light but, too much exposure to sunlight can cause burning issues.
  • Remove the yellow anthers from the center of each flower to prolong the life of the blossoms.
  • Easter lilies can be planted outside in a sunny location after the flowers have withered away.
  • If you plant your Easter lily outside, cover the roots with mulch to help keep them shaded.
  • Once planted outside, the lily should be watered freely during the active growth period and be kept moist during the winter.

Remember: Easter lily plants are highly toxic to cats.

Amazing Orchids!

 

Orchid Opulence from Coast to Coast Flowers

Orchid Opulence from Coast to Coast Flowers

Orchids are often identified as a symbol of refinement and innocence, and their allure is undeniable. Let’s take a closer look at these amazing and complex plants.

While orchids are fascinating to look at, their outward appearances barely scratch the surface of why these exotic beauties are like nothing else you’ll find in the plant world.

Orchids comprise the largest and most diverse family of flowering plants on Earth and boast over 25,000 different species along with nearly a quarter of a million hybrids – with more being discovered every day.

Most orchids are native to the tropics, but their incredible ability to adapt to nearly any environment means that they can be found anywhere in the world (except Antarctica) in almost every climate from the arctic tundra to the equatorial tropics and all points in between.

With so much variety in the different types of orchids, it’s no wonder why they’re a favorite among horticulturists and amateurs alike. Although some varieties of orchids can be difficult to grow, since there is such a wide variety of orchids to choose from, it’s easy to select an orchid that is suitable to thrive in the conditions you can provide. If you need help selecting a variety that is right for you, give us a call and talk to one of our designers – we’re happy to help you find your perfect plant!

No matter if you’re an experienced green thumb or a novice who simply enjoys the elegant charm of orchids, these wonderful plants are sure to make you smile and appreciate the incredible beauty of nature. Give us a call today and check out our selection of orchid plants; not only do they look great in every room in the home, but they make outstanding long-lasting gifts for any occasion. Be sure to keep them in mind for Administrative Professionals Week or Mother’s Day – both of which are coming up soon!

 

Here are 10 fun facts that you might not know about orchids:

  1. Vanilla is a member of the orchid family and vanilla beans are the only commercially grown orchid crop.
  2. Certain orchid species can live up to 100 years.
  3. Orchids have the smallest seeds in the world. They are so small that they appear to look like a speck of dust and can only be visible under a microscope.
  4. Some orchids have flowers that can last up to six months while other species only last for only a few hours.
  5. A fossilized bee dated 10 to 50 million years old showed ancient orchid pollen on its back, however, other fossilized evidence suggests that orchids have been in existence for around 100 million years or more.
  6. Similar to human faces, orchid flowers have bilateral symmetry, meaning they can be divided into matching halves by drawing a vertical line down the middle.
  7. Some species of orchids are parasitic and obtain their food from fungi living inside their roots.
  8. Depending on the species, orchids can be smaller than a dime, or they could weigh several hundred pounds.
  9. Due to their thick, heavy petals, orchid plants always grow upside down when mature.
  10. The first flowers on an orchid plant won’t appear until at least five to seven years after germination, so the orchid plants you buy in the flower shop are often a decade old.

It’s Time to Go Green with Amazing Indoor Plants

We often hear the term “going green” applied to energy-saving tactics such as recycling and renewable energy, but as our society focuses on better living and healthier lifestyles, literally going green with indoor plants is an incredible way to naturally enhance our overall health and well-being.

In addition to the established psychological effects that flowers and plants have on our moods and emotions, green plants benefit our physical health as well by purifying the air we breathe and replenishing oxygen supplies in enclosed spaces.

As the seasons change and the days get colder, we tend to spend less time outside and more time indoors where it is more difficult to reap the rewards of natural clean air. We all know that green plants make excellent indoor companions in our living spaces, but what exactly do they do for us?

Moisturizing the Air

Cooler temperatures tend to bring lower outdoor humidity levels which can lead to dry skin along with colds, sore throats, dry coughs and sinus problems for many people. Investing in a humidifier to bring the indoor moisture levels up is the best way to combat this issue, but green indoor plants also do an outstanding job in boosting oxygen levels and adding some moisture inside the home while also enhancing the beauty and style of your indoor spaces.

Purifying the Air

Among the most important benefits that green plants provide is air filtration. Plants work hard to combat harmful toxins and pollutants in the air. Our air contains dangerous chemicals such as: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and ammonia, which are byproducts of many of the household goods and materials that we use on a daily basis.

The adverse health effects caused by these chemicals depends on many different factors, but the less exposure we have to them, the better. NASA conducted a comprehensive clean air study in 1998 and found 18 of the most effective indoor plants for removing toxins from the air. Here are the plants they recommend:

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Peace Lily Planter by Coast to Coast Florist

– Dwarf Date Palm
– Boston Fern
– Kimberley Queen Fern
– Spider Plant
– Chinese Evergreen
– Bamboo Palm
– Weeping Fig
– Devil’s Ivy
– Flamingo Lily
– Lilyturf
– Broadleaf Lady Palm
– Barberton Daisy
– Cornstalk Dracaena
– English Ivy
– Variegated Snake Plant
– Red-Edged Dracaena
– Peace Lily
– Florist’s Chrysanthemum

Find Your Perfect Plant

With such a wide variety of plants to choose from, there are many outstanding choices for every room in the home or office. It is important to match the right plants to the right growing conditions as some require more light and more attention than others. Check out the selection of green plants at Coast to Coast Florist, we will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect green plant for any circumstance. Discover for yourself the benefits indoor plants while adding a touch of beauty to your world.

Don’t forget Your Pets

If you are a pet owner, keep in mind that some plants and flowers are toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. Be sure to check the toxicity level of any plants or flowers that you introduce to your home.