Negros Occidental: A Land for Growing "Christmas Plants"
Belle Piccio | Dec 01, 2015
We always refer to the poinsettia when we think of "holiday plants" to be used as decorations.The plant is green and red in colors which are traditionally associated with the Christmas season.
Poinsettia is native to Mexico and the Pacific Coast. Since poinsettia is a tropical plant, it can also be found in the Philippines. Potted poinsettias are cultivated in the country usually inside a greenhouse but there are also some that are naturally grown outdoors.
During the 10th Negros Island Organic Farmers Festival which was held last November 25-29, 2015, farmers were also selling poinsettias of different types. The cheapest is at PhP 100 while potted poinsettia can be bought at PhP 4000 depending on the size.
In Negros Occidental, you’ll find the plantation at Don Salvador Benedicto and Bago City.
The farmers say that growing and cultivating the flower is just easy. All you need are cuttings of the plants which must be placed in a covered area, and after 2 weeks you can already expose it under the sun. Well, I guess it’s easy if you have a green-thumb.
According to farmers, the poinsettia turns red when it’s already or almost “ber” months. You can also turn the plant red by covering it with a black plastic bag.
Poinsettias are also available in white and pink color. The red leaves which are mistaken for as flowers are modified leaves of the plant. The part where it changes to a different color is called bract. The flower of the poinsettia is the one found in the middle of the bracts and are usually yellow or green.
Poinsettias with vibrant red colored bracts are said to represent the blood of Christ. That is probably why poinsettias are referred to as a “Christmas flower." The vibrant and fresh poinsettias are perfect decorations compared to artificial ones.
(Photos are screen grabs from TV Patrol Negros)
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Bacolod (Php2500++, round trip, 45 minutes). From Bacolod-Silay Airport, you can take a shuttle (Php75-100 per head), or a cab (minimum of Php400) and ask to be dropped off at your destination.