Rows and rows of poinsettias fill several greenhouses at Heartland Growers in Westfield, Ind. All of them will be sold during the Christmas season.
Rows and rows of poinsettias fill several greenhouses at Heartland Growers in Westfield, Ind. All of them will be sold during the Christmas season.

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Heartland Growers in Westfield spreads holiday cheer in a big, colorful way.

The nursery and greenhouse doesn’t just grow a few hundred poinsettias each season – it raises more than 283,500, which all vary in variety, size and color.

Tom Samuelson, the head grower at Heartland Growers, noted that the nursery grows poinsettias of all sizes, from 4- to 10-inch pots, in many colors, including, red, pink, marble and white.

“Red is the No. 1 color,” he said, adding that about 75 percent of the poinsettias in the greenhouses are red, the No. 2 seller is white at 10 percent and then, coming in third, is marble and pink, which each represent 5 percent of the total poinsettias that are grown.

To make sure the flowers grown in the 8-inch pots are ready in time, the grower explained, the planting process began around July 4.

Heartland Growers raises its poinsettias, Samuelson said, from root cuttings, which are propagated until new roots take hold, and then as the plant continues to grow, the leaves will be pinched to control the flowers’ overall size. “Our main customers are Lowe’s and Marsh,” he said.

A good portion of the poinsettia crop, Samuelson noted, is used for fundraisers throughout the state, including high school and 4-H groups that sell the Christmas plants.

One of the unique things about the nursery’s poinsettias, he said, is that many of the flowers have different shades of red.

He added that one could line them up one by one and be able to pick out the various shades of red because some are deeper and others are more intense.

“We grow what grows best for us,” he said.