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A Perennial Tradition

Nearly 12,000 poinsettias were grown for the annual sale.

Photos by Lindsay Peters

Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 5:15 pm

Ashley Ruiz, Staff Writer | 0 comments

What started with a plant of two leaves and a class of students eager to put their green thumbs to work has grown into seven greenhouses filled with red, white and pink poinsettias enclosed behind the gates of the horticulture garden.

Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. the gates and doors of the greenhouse will be opened to the public for Orange Coast College’s annual poinsettia sale put on by the horticulture department and its students.

Since the beginning of the semester, ornamental horticulture instructor John Lenanton and his students have been busy growing poinsettias through a class offered on Wednesday nights.

“We started planting them on the first day of school. Altogether, we have grown about 50 poinsettias per student,” Deborah Coultas, a student and president of the horticulture club said.

The poinsettias grow in greenhouses with controlled temperature, a drip water system and fans, Coultas said.

Ranging in size from small to large, the flowers can be bought in pots, centerpieces or baskets or bowls, Coultas said.

This year about 12,000 poinsettias were grown, Joseph Stead, an ornamental horticulture instructor said.

“Professor Lenanton is so dialed in and such a professional that the class is run like a business,” Coultas said. “He knows how many of what kinds sold well last year and makes decisions based upon that.”

While completing the business aspect of the sale students are asked to calculate which types of flowers were most profitable at the end of the semester, Coultas said.

All of the proceeds cycle back to the horticulture garden and are used to fund student projects such as the sale, Stead said.

“The sale started with John Lenanton and 100 cuttings from the same people that we still get our cuttings from today — Ecke Farms — about 30 years ago,” Stead said.

Over the years the sale has grown in size, and pre-sale order forms (for a mandatory $100 purchase) were sent out to a mailing list of about 1,000 people this year, Stead said.

Horticulture students and club members will host the sale and pre-orders will be ready for pickup on Thursday, according to Coultas.

General Meeting

Horticulture General Meeting!

Monday, December 5th at 7:00pm

in the Horticulture Classrooms

Join us for our December Meeting! 

T-Shirts are in and Poinsettia Sales are here!

Poinsettia Time-lapse Slide Show

Poinsettia Sale Volunteer Schedule and Sign-up

T-shirt Sales

Contact us at:

See you there!

-Hort Team

Back to Natives Event- Nov 19th

Greenhouse Grand Opening at the Back to Natives Nursery

Saturday, November 19, 2011, 9AM to 3PM (Meet at OCC at 8:30am to Carpool)

Join Back to Natives, and Orange Coast Horticulture and be among the first to experience the Back to Natives Nursery at Santiago Park in Santa Ana.  Free “mini workshops” on a variety of topics and tours of the Nursery and Greenhouse will occur throughout the day.  Enjoy free Kéan coffee and purchase food from the Calbi Truck!

Ribbon Cutting with Community Leaders, 10AM.

Native Uses Garden with Craig Torres, 11AM.

Butterfly and Bird Gardening, 11:30AM.

Square Foot Gardening, 12PM.

Rainwater Harvesting, 12:30PM.

Native Plant Landscaping, 1PM

Edible Landscaping, 1:30PM.

Permaculture, 2PM.

The Nursery location is very rustic.  Closed toed, low heeled shoes are recommended. There are restrooms available a short distance (1000 feet) away at the Nature Center.  The Back to Natives Nursery at Santiago Park is located at  600 E Memory Lane, Santa Ana.  For more info visit or call 949-509-4787.

OC Great Park Garden Workshops

Select Saturdays, Now through November 5, 2011

Fall Garden Workshops

Time(s): 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays
Location: Farm + Food Lab | Map & Directions
Free Parking & Admission

The Orange County Great Park is proud to present a series of gardening education workshops in sustainable home gardening practices led by the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Orange County.

For more information please call (949) 724-7420.

The Great Park would like to thank Whitney Farms for supporting the Spring 2011 Garden Workshop Series.

Garden Workshop Schedule

Designing with California Friendly Plants
October 29, 2011
Wendy Proud, landscape designer and horticulturist, will share her expertise on designing your landscape with California friendly plants. Great tips on creating beautiful natural settings that use less water.

Gifts from the Garden
November 5, 2011
Join UCCE Master Gardeners for a presentation about herbs. Each attendee will assemble a three-plant herb pot which can be inserted into a pumpkin or basket to give as a holiday or hostess gift.