Many people think of Christmastime as “the most wonderful time of the year.” Tiger Garden aims to make it even better by offering their customers a wide variety of holiday poinsettias. This year there were poinsettias in blue, purple, tie-dye, glitter, black and gold, and the traditional red color.
The poinsettia sale, which ran from Dec. 1 through Dec. 15 this year, is an annual tradition for Tiger Garden. The shop has been selling these plants for the holidays since the shop opened in 2005. Poinsettias are sold at Tiger Garden only during the month of December. And, while the plant comes in many different colors, the black and gold tiger-printed flowers are only available at Tiger Garden.
“We paint all of the colorful Poinsettias ourselves,” said Clarissa Brown, a student manager at Tiger Garden.
Poinsettias, native to Mexico, were first discovered by the Aztecs. They were later used in the 14-16th centuries to control fevers and to make dye. The vibrant plants were first introduced to the U.S. by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S ambassador to Mexico, who brought them back and planted them in a greenhouse in South Carolina.
However, for Tiger Garden, all of the poinsettias are grown and decorated in the MU Research Greenhouse, located on MU campus.
“Poinsettias are a photoperiodic plant, meaning they have to have a long dark period to flower. We have to put up special dark cloth in order for them to flower,” said Michelle Brooks, the greenhouse coordinator.
The plant requires five days in a row with 12 hours of darkness to change color. After that, to obtain the brightest color, the plant must get abundant light during the day.
“They are extremely sensitive plants,” Brown said. “With the proper care, these plants can stay alive up to mid-March.”
If you missed out on the poinsettia sale this year, be sure to mark you calendar for December 2015.