I’ve never featured this 2004 episode of California’s Gold in which Huell visits the Eckes’ poinsetta ranch in Encenitas, but I did link to it a couple of years ago. After spotting some blue and orange poinsettia plants for sale in the supermarket this morning, I thought it would be good to take another look at where and how these beautiful Christmas flowers are grown and their history in Southern California. I would note that the ‘crazy’ colors I noticed this morning are not a special variety but are dyed with a substance that doesn’t harm the plants. And if you’re wondering about the best way to care for your poinsettia plant, the Laidback Gardener has some really great advice on his blog.
Albert Ecke immigrated from Germany to Southern California in 1902 and opened a roadside stall selling fruits and vegetables. By the 1920s his son Paul started selling some of the wild poinsettia plants that grew in the hills above their stall. From these small beginnings, it is now estimated that over 90% of all flowering poinsettias get their start at the Paul Ecke Ranch. Join Huell as he meets Paul, Paul Jr. & Paul III, who give them a tour of this amazing and brightly colored piece of California’s Christmas Gold.