The annual Ector County Independent School District Horticulture Plant Sale is coming up April 23 through May 17 at the Greenhouse, 104 S. Grandview Ave.

The tax-free day is April 23 and the Mother’s Day sale is May 12, Horticulture Teacher Christina Kile said. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays. Hours for the May 12 sale are 8 a.m. to noon.

Proceeds from the sale go back into the greenhouse.

“It is a big event that helps us keep our greenhouse up and running. Without these sales, we wouldn’t even have a greenhouse probably,” Kile said.

This year, Kile said there are about 400 red geraniums and 100 other varieties, so close to 600 geraniums. About 22 high school students participate in the horticulture program.

“I ran low last year. Then everyone wanted geraniums, so I didn’t have any. I accommodated and I made sure I ordered enough for everybody,” Kile said.

She also had some customers who were interested in plants that weren’t for sale, so she plans to make petunia hanging baskets, grasses and spider plants available.

“All the kids ended up propagating a lot of the spider plants. We made plants out of one big plant and we have hundreds of them. We didn’t order them. They came straight from our greenhouse,” Kile said.

“That’s a huge learning aspect of what I teach. They learn a lot from the propagation method. That way they know there’s more than one method instead of just from seed. … Succulents will grow little babies off to the side that you can have a whole new plant with. They learn about that,” she added.

Including the spider plants, she said, there will be close to 2,100 plants available. Although she hasn’t completely decided yet, prices will range from $5 to $20, Kile said.

Ethan Sandate, a 17-year-old junior at Odessa High School, Maria Chavez, a 19-year-old senior from Permian High School, and Calista McPherson, a 17-year-old senior at OHS, are looking forward to the sale.

“I enjoy greeting customers. I like showing them what plants suit them, what they really like, what they want in their homes, or whatever they have planned for the plants,” Sandate said.

McPherson said her favorites are the succulents, which are nicknamed hens and chicks.

This is Sandate’s first year in horticulture class. He said he didn’t know ECISD had a program like it, otherwise he would have signed up as a freshman.

“For me, plants have always been a huge part of my life. Every person in my family has a garden of some type around their house. … I love the personalities and colors that come with them, too, like how some can only grow one time of the year and these others grow in the winter. It’s very interesting to me.

Chavez said she is very caring about everything, including flowers. She likes how they bloom and the variety of colors they come in.

McPherson said Kile got her interested in horticulture and talked her into joining the class.

“It turns out I’m actually pretty good at it now. I’m on the floriculture judging team for FFA,” McPherson said.

Sandate said for anyone that’s interested, horticulture is “definitely a pathway to choose.”

“I’m having enormous amounts of fun. I can’t even describe right now,” he said.

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