DURHAM – In a sure sign that the Christmas season is upon us, the University of New Hampshire greenhouse will begin showing off more than 100 varieties of poinsettias next week at its fifth annual open house.
The exhibition is part poinsettia sale and part research.
UNH has poinsettias from growers around the country and has been measuring their size, growth rates and flowering time in an effort to figure out how best to grow them. Poinsettias are normally tropical plants, and growing them this far north requires a greenhouse.
Researchers are testing ways to grow the plants, such as using time-release fertilizers that will be cheaper and have a smaller impact on the environment. They are also finishing the poinsettias' typical four-month growing cycle in a cooler environment to cut down on heating costs.
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