GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Club will host its 22nd annual poinsettia sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 7. The sale will be held at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) horticultural greenhouses, 2550 Hull Road, Gainesville, Florida, 32607.
This year, UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) students are working hard to make this, once again, the largest student-run plant sale in the country.
The sale will feature more than 400 plants of 150 different varieties, including the traditional reds as well as many novelty varieties such as Orange Spice, Peppermint Ruffles and Ice Crystals. The sale will also include the most popular yellow and white varieties, including Snowcap and Premium White.
The poinsettias are provided by various companies that send newly created varieties to the students. After receiving the plants, the Environmental Horticulture Club creates a production schedule to optimally grow these new varieties. They also perform experiments to test how heat affects the plants’ growth, which allows the students to see any defects a plant may have.
The proceeds of this plant sale are used by the club to help support the international educational travel of its members. Last year, members of the club traveled to Ecuador to learn about its unique horticultural industry. This year the club is planning an international experience to Spain, where they will study the country’s agricultural commodities.
“Because of the sale, we are able to provide an international opportunity and valuable experience for club members to learn more about the industry and to network with industry professionals,” UF Environmental Horticulture Club member Claire Lee said. “The proceeds are also used to fund in-state trips to various conferences and conventions.”
The poinsettia sale is open to the public each year, with attendees traveling from all over the North Central Florida area to see what the UF Environmental Horticulture Club has produced.
“The sale has been around for over two decades and we have so many regulars who come see and purchase our beautiful plants annually,” Lee said. “Whether purchased to decorate their homes for the holidays or to give them as a present to their loved ones, we share the beauty of the plants with the community and put a smile on their faces.”
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) administers the degree programs of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The mission of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is to deliver unsurpassed educational programs that prepare students to address the world’s critical challenges related to agriculture, food systems, human wellbeing, natural resources and sustainable communities. The college has received more total (national and regional combined) USDA teaching awards than any other institution. Visit the CALS website at cals.ufl.edu, and follow CALS on social media platforms at @ufcals.