EAST GREENWICH TOWNSHIP – It’s poinsettia season, and Jersey-grown plants are available in Montville and all across the state as nurseries have cultivated the beautiful, historic Christmas-themed decorations, which come in many colors.

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher visited Powell’s Greenhouses in Gloucester County this week to highlight the poinsettia; Dec. 12 was National Poinsettia Day. National Poinsettia Day was created by an Act of Congress to enjoy the beauty of the plant, first introduced in the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett.

New Jersey ranked 11th in the U.S. in wholesale poinsettia plants sold in the U.S. The USDA reported 43 state producers sold 1.3 million plants with a total value of $7.7 million.

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“The bright and beautiful colors of poinsettias enhance any holiday celebration,” Secretary Fisher said. “When you purchase poinsettias from a local nursery it helps the state economy and supports local farm families.”

Poinsettias are easy to care for and should be watered only when dry to the touch. Locate the plant in a bright, cool place, avoiding drafts. Also, poinsettias should be kept away from heating vents and other sources of heat, such as fireplaces and radiators.

Today’s poinsettia plant has a storied history in New Jersey. The “Oak Leaf” poinsettia was introduced by Mrs. Enteman in Jersey City in the 1920s and dominated the field for the next 40 years as it was the first plant suitable for growing in a pot, according to the Dept. of Agriculture.

In Montville, Jersey poinsettias can be purchased at Bader Farms, 290 Changebridge Rd., 973-227-0294; and Condursos, 96 River Rd., 96 River Rd., 973-263-8814.

To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA and @JerseyFreshNJDA.

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