Some Alexandria high school students have been working hard for Mother's Day — and not just for their own mothers.

Students in the horticulture class have been growing a variety of flowers and plants to sell during the third annual Mother's Day plant sale.

The sale will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, May 11, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Alexandria Area High School greenhouse. Individual plants will be for sale, as well as hanging baskets, tomatoes and peppers.

"We had a lot of people and almost sold out last year," said junior Samantha Karger. "This year I think we planted over 3,000 flowers."

As a whole, the horticulture class focuses on the principles of plant and soil science. Students spend time studying plant parts, growth, reproduction and health by growing in the greenhouse, as well as working on the school garden.

Though the students have many plants available for the sale, not all of the plants have flourished. They have faced a few hurdles in the past weeks.

"The first thing we grew was snapdragons, but things went wrong, so those didn't grow," Karger said. "We also planted cosmos, and those also didn't grow. We don't know exactly what happened. Then a couple weeks ago we got aphids and those kind of spread and caused issues."

The class schedule has also presented problems.

"The block schedule is kind of hard with the class because we can only be out here for an hour and a half every other day," said senior Collin Endres. "Long weekends are hard because no one is here to water."

The greenhouse is divided into two sections, each with its own set of controls for temperature, shade and fans.


"It's really cool that we have the technology," Endres said. "There aren't very many schools that have a greenhouse with the technology we do. It's all automated and temperature controlled."

After the flower sale, the students will shift their attention to the school garden for the remaining month of school.

"After the flower sale, that (the school garden) is our next thing in line," Endres said. "We grow potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins. Through the summer, workers come in (to care for the plants)."

The horticulture students say they consider themselves fortunate to be able to take classes such as this.

"We're very lucky to have all of this," Karger said.

By Beth Leipholtz

Source, images, credits & more information: EchoPress