As I was wandering around Home Depot last night, trying to entertain myself while my husband puttered around happily, I came across their display of poinsettias. They had the usual red and white ones, of course, but also colors like blue and yellow — and some were even sparkly.
Serendipitously, the Detroit News ran a story today about local growers, and sellers, of holiday plants like Christmas trees and poinsettias. And the news is good for them — plants, trees and fresh wreaths have done well this year, sale-wise:
Poinsettias are an $11 million-a-year business in Michigan, with some 90 producers raising 2.75 million plants in 2009, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures released last week.
Like any other business person, growers have had to adjust to the times — they’re grown hardier, which makes them less costly and labor-intensive, and therefore more profitable.
And, although fresh Christmas trees haven’t been selling as well as in the past, Michigan is still the top 3 supplier in the nation, the story says. The decline is because more and more houses are switching to fake trees, the story says, partly because families like to get their trees up earlier in the year. That was also evident at my trip last night to the hardware store — several brands of false trees — some lit, some even predecorated — were for sale. (And I saw one couple buying a fake tree a few days before Christmas, so they are still being sold this late in the game.)
I haven’t personally seen it, but apparently online tree purchasing and home delivery is starting to pick up steam, too.
What does this mean? It could mean that the economy is starting to pick up steam, because people won’t buy trees if they don’t have the money for them. Or, it could mean that Christmas is too important to people not to skimp on family traditions.
Either way, I’m glad to hear Michigan plays such an important part for people’s tree and poinsettia sales.