HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, North Carolina is the largest supplier of poinsettias in the United States.
They supply poinsettias to 400 Lowes stores, 400 Walmart stores, and 100 Sam's Club stores along the East Coast.
The Huntersville business has grown tremendously since it began in 1972. Metrolina Greenhouses currently has 700 employees and 140 acres of indoor space.
There is a lot more to growing poinsettias than most of us probably think about when we pick out our plant from the store shelf. There's a lot of science behind it. Besides the science, there's also an art to the poinsettia business. The folks at Metrolina Greenhouses have to think about how best to market their product to meet consumers' needs.
They also do a lot of research and trials at Metrolina Greenhouses.
"We've had red poinsettias forever, but there's been twenty to thirty different varieties over the years of red poinsettias and we're always looking for the newest one with the brightest red or the best growth habit. We're also testing over 100 varieties every year of ones that never make it to the market just to find that next one that's the right color, the right shape, or the right style that consumers are looking for," says Abe VanWingerden of Metrolina Greenhouses.