Poinsettia Growers Discuss Their Recent Trials And Triumphs

Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses has been running poinsettia trials since the mid-2000s, supervising 200 cultivar varieties.
Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses has been running poinsettia trials since the mid-2000s, supervising 200 cultivar varieties.

Ask top poinsettia growers about the plant’s future, and their responses are emphatic: The No. 1 plant of the holiday season is here to stay.

This response comes straight from the source. Each year, Dan Schantz Farm & Greenhouses, Millstadt Young Plants, and Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse trial the industry’s top varieties hoping to learn which will entice their customers every winter. Here’s what each company had to say about its 2015 trials, triumphs, and plans for the future.

Dan Schantz Farm And Greenhouses: Poinsettias Are The Christmas Plant

When it comes to running successful poinsettia trials, it requires teamwork, dedication, and perhaps a grower with superhuman recall. No one knows this better than Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA.

The operation has been running trials since the mid-2000s, supervising 200 cultivar varieties — all with different growing characteristics and habits — each year. This means separating each cultivar by breeder, color, variety, and growing requirements.

How does the operation manage to keep everything straight, even when the chaos of spring takes hold? The farm has a secret weapon in grower Ian Phelps. As the poinsettia point person, Phelps can name a variety simply by looking at it. The trials, though, are more than an experiment in how to build successful organization protocols. Poinsettia trials are an endurance test.

“The trials themselves are not an easy thing to add to an already busy spring and summer schedule, so it is something that needs to be seriously considered before embarking on hosting a trial at your own facility,” says Paul Hardiman, Head Grower at Dan Schantz. “Taking on a trial can be an added expense to the bottom line of a greenhouse operation and requires that growers will have to be dedicated to raising the crop and sticking with it all the way through the trial, which usually happens in November of most years.”

At the end of the trial, however, the company gains first-hand knowledge about how to grow varieties that will perform for and impress its customers. In 2015, the trial judges selected the best red, pink, novelty, and white varieties, also awarding “judge’s favorite” and “best of greenhouse” honors. Hardiman says the standout plants included the Christmas Feelings and Christmas Ribbons series from Selecta, ‘Titan Pink’ from Syngenta, ‘Pallas Red’ from Beekenkamp, and a numbered (but not yet named) variety from Dümmen Orange that was given a “best future possibility” honor. Dan Schantz Farm will likely integrate some or all of these varieties into its production.

In addition to a stellar line-up of poinsettias each year, Michael Foster, Production Assistant at Dan Schantz and mastermind behind the website, PoinsettiaTrial.com, says the trials offer other perks, as well.

“Dan Schantz Farm has hosted the trials, not only for the benefits that it offers us in terms of being able to adjust our regular growing varieties with new introductions that we learn about through the trial,” he says. “But it also allows us to bring together other growers who face these same issues and put them with the breeders who might be able to shed some light on the questions the growers might be facing in their own operations.”

In 2016, Dan Schantz Farm has opted not to take on the responsibilities of a trial. Hardiman says this doesn’t spell the end of the operation’s trials. The decision will be made on a year-to-year basis. Even without the trials, Hardiman and Foster say they believe the plant will continue to be a Christmas-time favorite.

“The future of the poinsettia is probably pretty secure, but presentation of the poinsettia might become more gift-like with decorative sleeves, pot covers that really make each plant very special, and special-buy pots to put the poinsettias in, such as the Santa Boot that was rather popular this year,” Foster says, noting that even with its holiday-season popularity, the crop might not be a fit for every operation.

“For many greenhouses, the poinsettia is a finicky plant to grow, and many of the smaller growers may give up on growing them in their own houses. The slack will be taken up by the larger operations because what would Christmas be without the traditional poinsettia decorating our homes during the season?”

Next: For Millstadt Young Plants, The Future For Poinsettias Is Now

Topics: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Pleasant View Gardens Savor Edibles

July 22, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Edibles

Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.

Read More
Dummen New Columbus Office

July 21, 2016

Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In Columbus, OH

The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.

Read More
Pollen Free Lisianthus

July 20, 2016

Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianthus

With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.

Read More
Latest Stories
Pleasant View Gardens Savor Edibles

July 22, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Ed…

Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.

Read More
Dummen New Columbus Office

July 21, 2016

Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In …

The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.

Read More
Pollen Free Lisianthus

July 20, 2016

Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianth…

With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.

Read More

July 19, 2016

17 New Vegetable Intros For Greenhouse Production

New varieties of edibles introduced at 2016 California Spring Trials offer something for every type of gardener, from the beginning do-it-yourselfer to the hardcore, heirloom-only type. Check out some of the new varieties we saw at Spring Trials this year that will be available for retail in 2017.

Read More
One Earth Edibles From Peace Tree Farm

July 16, 2016

How To Capture Your Share Of The Edibles Market

At Peace Tree Farm, One Earth Edibles represent healthy living on a healthy planet.

Read More
Terra Nova Nurseries Catalog

July 15, 2016

New Product Catalog From Terra Nova Nurseries Designed …

The new catalog, which made its debut at Cultivate’16, offers easy access to organized genera grouped alphabetically, and also by size, color, habit, top sellers, photography, newest varieties, and USDA horticultural zones.

Read More
Pleasant View Open House

July 8, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens And D.S. Cole Growers Hosting Ope…

The 20th annual event will feature new introductions from Proven Winners, as well as annuals, combos, and Pleasant View’s new Savor Edibles and Fragrants line.

Read More
NatureSweet

July 5, 2016

NatureSweet And Ganfer Partner On Tomato Production

The partnership will add more than 250 acres of NatureSweet greenhouse tomato production over the next three years.

Read More
SunPatiens Sakata Medal of Excellence Feature

June 29, 2016

SunPatiens Earns The 2016 Medal Of Excellence In Market…

With its reputation for excellent garden performance from spring to frost, and as a problem-solver for Impatiens Downy Mildew, SunPatiens has become a “hero plant” that helps gardeners succeed.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

June 28, 2016

Kelly Norris: Three Variety Trends That Caught My Eye T…

My reflections on promising new plants, the realities of market penetration, and adding value along the supply chain.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

June 25, 2016

Three Types Of Plant Consumers To Watch

There are three emerging groups of plant consumers that you should be targeting for plant sales in the future, according to Allan Armitage.

Read More
FleuroStar Award Ceremony

June 20, 2016

Begonia Hybrid ‘Miss Malibu’ Takes Home FleuroStar Awar…

The award from Fleuroselect was announced at the Green Inspiration Event in Amsterdam.

Read More
Caryopteris 'Beyond Midnight Bluebeard'

June 20, 2016

Keep The Sales Coming With 16 New Blooming Varieties Fo…

Plants that put on a show from first frost long into fall and offer the color options consumers want for their gardens go a long way toward extending sales further into the season and can help maintain your sales momentum going strong. Check out these 16 new blooming varieties, both traditional favorites and new alternatives, for your fall crop selection.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 18, 2016

Mark Your Calendar For Sakata Seed Trials In August

Sakata has set two dates for its California-based trials: Aug. 15-17 in Salinas, and Aug. 17-19 in Woodland.

Read More
Tomato Congress Logo

June 15, 2016

International Tomato Congress In Mexico Will Focus On G…

The event, which takes place in San Luis Potosi from July 20-22, will feature discussions on production strategies, cost management in protected structures, and optimizing your greenhouse environment.

Read More
Nir Nursery Wax Flower Pot Plant

June 14, 2016

Danziger Reaches Deal To Distribute Nir Nursery Varieti…

With the agreement, Danziger becomes the exclusive distributor of Nir’s product line, which includes cut flowers, foliage, pot, and garden plants.

Read More

June 14, 2016

Dümmen Orange Expands Its Succulent Offerings Through N…

According to Dümmen Operations Director Kate Santos, succulents are an attractive growth category because of their ease of use, shelf life in stores, drought tolerance, and versatility in application.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 14, 2016

New Cool Season, Vegetable, And Foliage Crops For Fall …

Whether you’re providing pansies and violas to the garden center for fall color or decorative edibles to grace patio containers, consider these 16 varieties for fall crop sales, newly introduced for 2016 and hitting retail in 2017.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]