Local Poinsettia Production is Down

WAIMANALO (KHNL) -- Almost as popular as Christmas trees, the holiday favorite poinsettia is grown locally. But buyer beware. State agriculture statistics indicate a 12 percent drop in production and that means you better buy early before they're gone.

If you want one to brighten up the holidays don't wait because production is down this year.

It looks a lot like Christmas at Leilani Nursery in Waimanalo. They sell nearly 90-thousand plants.

"Poinsettia it's the number one selling flowering plant in the world. And more plants are sold during this November, December period." reveals to Nursery President William Durston.

According to state records, the estimated production is down about 12 percent.

"They seem to be selling early. There might be a shortage later because the plant flowered early this year," advises Durston.

It's a cash crop for local growers. They bring in seedlings in August and profit from sales of the fast-growing plant in just three months.

"Today we can take a thousand off each table and get ready for Valentine's day and it's just the most efficient time for us," forecasts Durston.

The hard part is timing different varieties to turn red to fill holiday orders. "The leaf brack, this is not really a flower, it's the leaf brack. It turns red after so many days, after many hours of sunlight so these turn red early and the prestige back here turn red around first Week of December," says Durston.