Positively the Heartland: Council Bluffs business supplies the Heartland with millions of plants

Despite challenges, family business continues to thrive
Posted at 10:48 AM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 11:48:29-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Dallas Johnson Greenhouses opened on one acre in 1985. Today, the Council Bluffs-based, family-owned business grows millions of plants each year on 75 acres.

Right now, poinsettias are front and center.

The wholesale greenhouse has two customers: Lowe's and Menards. Growers started working in July to prepare for the holiday season — to make sure 12 varieties and 20 sizes of poinsettias would be ready.

Justin Woods, company vice president and nephew of the founder, is one of eight family members who work at Dallas Johnson Greenhouses. Woods gave KMTV a tour of their 1.8 million square foot facility off Veterans Memorial Highway, including a look at 60,000 poinsettias in 6-foot pots. The plants will be loaded onto semi-trucks within two days this week and transported to Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, as well as Nebraska and Iowa in time for Black Friday. By the end of the season, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses will have shipped a quarter of a million poinsettias to Lowe's and Menards stores across the Midwest.

Woods explained that, through the pandemic, interest in gardening has increased. Reflecting on last year, he said, "It was crazy. I mean, it was all that we could do to keep up with demand. We were shipping seven days a week."

He explained how challenges continue — specifically, with the supply chain. They've had a difficult time acquiring plastic nursery pots and metallic foil to go around the poinsettias. Despite that, Woods said they did secure what's needed to meet demand this year.

He provided this tip if you plan to incorporate live poinsettias in your holiday home: Give eight ounces of water every other day and keep your plants in medium sunlight. Woods said, in doing this, his poinsettias last beyond Christmas.

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