Family honors grandpa with poinsettia tradition

The Orbans are always popular around the holidays because of their poinsettias.

Tyler Orban isn’t really a big fan of the color red.

Ironic, since his family nursery is blanketed with 150,000 bright red poinsettias.

“I like the color of the cement when they’re gone,” the 25-year old joked.

For as long as he can remember, and way before then, the Orban family has been growing the beautiful crimson annual flowers at its nursery in Bradenton.

“My dad’s uncle came over from Hungary in the early 1900s and went to work for some people doing lawn work,” explained Tyler’s dad, Marty. “That’s kind of how it got started. That was 1918. So, we’re coming up on 100 years.”


For nearly a century, the tradition over growing flowers has been passed down through four generations. The vibrant flowers began growing in July and are just about ready to sell.

“I’m more of a nervous nelly until the come in,” Marty’s wife, Becky, said of waiting for the plants to bloom. “They always come back every year.”

The flower defines the family, only this year the family will be harvesting flowers without a forefather to enjoy them. Bill Orban, Marty’s father, passed away on Aug. 3.

“We just put up a little memorial for dad,” said Marty, looking at a framed photo of Bill on the wall of the nursery office building. “He lived a great life.”

Bill was named Manatee County Agriculturist of the Year in 2013. The newspaper clipping announcing that honor hangs on the wall next to his photo.

“He was a character. We just loved him,” said Becky. “He was just a great person.”

The family continues to honor Bill's memory with its annual crop of poinsettias. They acknowledge it will be a little “weird” to not have him there when the red blooms are sold. But, the chance to build upon the legacy he left behind is an important mission for the Orbans.

“It’s definitely special for me to look at the poinsettia and know that’s something my family has been doing for a long time,” said Tyler. “To be able to do a good job is a family legacy.”

The Orban Nursery will host its 26th annual Poinsettia Drive Thru and Sale on Saturday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The nursery will open its doors for families to come take pictures with the 150,000 plants and buy holiday flowers for friends and family. The nursery address is 9601 9th Ave. N.W., Bradenton, FL 34209.

A portion of proceeds will go to support Valor Service Dogs. 


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