The 16,000-square-foot Horticulture Greenhouse will soon be transformed into a sea of red and green leaves, just in time for the holidays.
The UF Environmental Horticulture Club is hosting its 23rd annual poinsettia sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Horticulture Greenhouse located behind Fifield Hall.
Ray-Ann Lackhee, 22-year-old UFEHC treasurer and UF food and resource economics senior, said this event will be the largest student-run poinsettia sale in the country with more than 5,000 poinsettias in 46 varieties available for purchase.
Lackheeexpects to raise $75,000 this year, she said. Last year the club raised $68,000.
Money from the sales will go towards a trip to Hawaii, where students will get to learn about local agriculture, culture and the environment, Lackhee said. The club takes a trip to a new destination every summer in order to educate members and to network with professionals in the industry.
“Horticulture is an international industry and it's very different across the world,” Lackhee said. “So it's important we expose our members to that entire industry instead of being limited to whatever's going on in Florida.”
Club members have to volunteer for 35 hours each to prepare for poinsettia sale, Lackhee said, which allows everyone to bond before the trip.
“It’s a really enriching experience for our members and it brings us all together,” Lackhee said. “We all get really close throughout the year.”
Paxton Guerin, a 20-year-old biomedical engineering sophomore, plans to buy a poinsettia from the UFEHC because she wants to use the flowers to decorate her room for Christmas. This will be her first time buying a poinsettia from the sale.
“Christmas is my favorite holiday,” Guerin said. “I just want something to help get me in the holiday spirit with finals coming up.”