The Poinsettia’s Upstate Connection


For many people, decorating the house with poinsettias is a big part of Christmas.

Roebuck Greenhouses is one of the Upstate’s largest poinsettia growers.

Tim Holliday says they grow around 35-40 thousand in different sizes each year.

“You really start in August, September, and you starting planting your crop right after the last crop,” Holliday explained. “That’s what most people they associate Christmas trees, poinsettias, and that kind of thing with Christmas, so it’s kind of neat to be a part of that.”

This seasonal staple also has a South Carolina connection that’s remembered in downtown Greenville. The plant is named after Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. Minister to Mexico who helped bring it here.

The South Carolina native had a summer home in Greenville, said Jim Faust, associate professor of horticulture at Clemson University.

“It’s a plant that everybody knows, and then to find out, oh, it’s named after somebody, who you know, who was really kind of a local guy, and it’s a name that’s known internationally and it’s a guy from South Carolina, that’s kind of cool that that actually happened,” Faust explained.

Poinsett’s legacy lives on in the annual Poinsettia Christmas Parade, the Poinsett Hotel, and other local businesses.

Click here for advice on picking out the perfect poinsettia and tips for taking care of them throughout the season.




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