CHESHIRE, Conn. (AP) - High heating costs this winter is leading some Connecticut plant growers to reconsider planting Christmas flowers.
John Casertano usually grows 60,000 poinsettias a season at N. Casertano Greenhouses and Farms in Cheshire. But this year, he's not growing any because the expense.
He knows of at least three other Cheshire growers not planting the traditional Christmastime plant. Instead, Casertano says he's focusing on his big holiday sellers: wreaths and roping.
On average, it costs about $12.50 per square foot to heat a greenhouse to 65 to 69 degrees. And tropical plants, such as poinsettias, need three-and-a-half months of growing time before they're ready for sale. Plants that bloom faster offer better profit margins for growers.
The state's greenhouses take in about $1.1 billion each year.