Poinsettia Panorama

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Poinsettia Panorama

Poinsettias and Christmas go hand in hand, and there’s no indication that’s going to change anytime soon. But despite the festive plant’s popularity, growers continue to face the same challenges year after year. Competition is fierce, and some say poinsettias’ ubiquity in big boxes and grocery chains has turned the once treasured plant into a dime-a-dozen commodity. Add to that soaring heating costs, and the profitability of growing poinsettias seems ill at best, according to several growers who opted not to produce the plant this season.

That’s not to say everyone has given up on the holiday favorite, though. Responses to our annual poinsettia survey varied, some saying the season was great, others calling it abysmal. And with painted plants fetching top-dollar, poinsettia profitability could be on the rise. But enough speculating. Read on to see what growers had to say about the 2006 season. 

Grower Impressions

Despite the challenges, most of our survey respondents said they viewed the 2006 poinsettia season as a good–even excellent–one. That could be attributed to higher demand, according to one Illinois wholesale grower who saw “A bit stronger demand due to a small decrease in overall production.”

“Some seasonal growers decided not to grow for the ’06 season due to low profitability,” the grower added.

Overall, the impression of the 2006 season was positive, and nearly all the growers who grew poinsettias this year plan to again in 2007. One Minnesota wholesale and direct-to-retail grower who will continue to grow poinsettias referred to them as a “necessary evil.”

Survey Facts

States Represented:
AL, CA, CT, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MA, MI, MN, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI
Average Size Operation: 105,327 square feet
Average Poinsettia Production: 47,511 square feet
Average Number Of Poinsettias Grown: 27,435
Average Number Of Years Selling Poinsettias: 29
Sales: 25% Retail, 33% Wholesale, 42% Both

Turning a Profit

Growers are still struggling with the cost of heating poinsettia crops, and across the board, that seems to be their biggest challenge. On the other hand, some growers said milder than usual temperatures this fall and early winter helped production. “Warm November/December was a blessing,” said one Minnesota wholesale and retail grower.

Overall, 54 percent of the respondents said heating and energy costs did factor into their poinsettia production this year.

Ann-Marie Vazzano was managing editor of American Fruit Grower magazine, a Meister publication.

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