What’s a locally-grown gift that everyone is sure to love? BC-grown flowers are the perfect gift to brighten up the darkest winter days: they’re a mood booster, an air cleaner, and a burst of colour that makes your home a better place to be. And - surprise - loads of flowers are in-season right now, thanks to your local BC greenhouses. We talked to our friends at Rainbow Greenhouses to find out more about how they grow their flowers, and they shared some helpful tips for how to make the most of your poinsettias this holiday season.
Based in Chilliwack, Rainbow Greenhouses are family-owned by Stan and Wilma Vander Waal and they’ve been in business since 1985. While many farms are quieter in the winter months, right now it’s busy at Rainbow Greenhouses. Winter-blooming flowers like Cyclamen, Christmas Cactus, Kalanchoe, and Frosty ferns are all in season and ready for market. And of course, ever-popular poinsettias are in their prime! Poinsettias take 5 months to grow before they are ready for your holiday decorating. The Vander Waal’s grow 500,000 poinsettias each year, so the greenhouses are a sea of red, pink and white come late November.
We’ve talked before about how efficient greenhouse growers can be with vegetables, and greenhouse grown plants and flowers are no different. Rainbow Greenhouses conserves water and energy while growing beautiful blooms for your home. They can recapture 98% of the fertilizer and water used through a flood-floor system, and then reuse it so there is little to no waste. Daily, they collect their plant material and organic waste so that it can be composted on-site. They are even energy-conscious in their transportation! Staff use bicycles and battery-operated carts to navigate around the spacious greenhouse that totals about 45 acres (or 45 soccer fields)!
Even though the technology that goes into farming these local plants is complex, they are simple to buy and care for. Look for local greenhouse-grown flowers at larger stores like Walmart, Home Depot or Costco as well as independently owned stores and nurseries. You’ll see the Flowerful BC label on many BC-grown plants.
To keep Poinsettias healthy in your home over winter, the experts at Rainbow Greenhouses suggest three simple tips: