Pink, Patterns Among Biggest Trends at 2023 Poinsettia Trials

Poinsettia Trials at Plantpeddler

Breeders, brokers, and growers from more than 18 states descended on Cresco, IA, for Plantpeddler’s Poinsettia Variety Day on Nov. 30, 2023.

There are many ways to decorate a home for the holidays, but lucky for us, poinsettias are a favorite for many families. Poinsettias symbolize the holiday season across the country, and will continue to do so for generations to come.

Red tends to be the most common color for poinsettias, but others such as pink and white are becoming quite popular, as well. Even speckled and painted poinsettias catch consumers’
eyes at retail stores.

Breeders, brokers, and growers from more than 18 states descended on Cresco, IA, for Plantpeddler’s Poinsettia Variety Day on Nov. 30. More than 175 commercial and pre-release poinsettia varieties were featured for evaluation and review. The trial was produced under natural season, commercially sustainable production protocol using limited plant growth regulators. In addition, Mike Poretsky of A-ROO presented value-added upgrade treatments and packaging, according to Plantpeddler. Beekenkamp, Dümmen Orange, Express Seed, Lazzeri, Rinehart, Selecta One, and Suntory Flowers submitted genetics for the trial.

“With our leadership position in poinsettias, this investment is for our retailers, growers, brokers, and breeding partners,” says Mike Gooder, President of Plantpeddler, on why the operation conducts poinsettia trials.

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He says that this is a true production trial, so the tested varieties were grown within a block of benchmark commercial varieties with the same treatments and environmental conditions. This year, the crop experienced higher than average temperatures and daylight.

“The Poinsettia Trial emphasizes our commitment to the industry by showcasing genetics under northern U.S. growing conditions,” Gooder says. “It is important to do a poinsettia production trial as a way for the industry and our growers to see how varieties perform in North American, northern climate greenhouse conditions.

poinsettia princettia sparkling rose at Mitchell's Nursery

‘Princettia Sparkling Rose’ from Suntory Flowers ranked No. 1 overall in the poinsettia trials at Mitchell’s Nursery. Photo: Mitchell’s Nursery

Mitchell’s Nursery

”Mitchell’s Nursery in King, NC, featured 83 poinsettia varieties. The public was invited to participate in the voting process across four categories: Red, White, Pink, and Novelty.

The standout winner of the 2023 Poinsettia Trials is ‘Princettia Sparkling Rose’ from Suntory Flowers. This pink poinsettia is adorned with delicate white speckles, says Molly Johnson, Director of Marketing for Mitchell’s Nursery.

Mitchell’s also offered two new poinsettia cultivars this year, known as ‘PreRF 634 WH’ and ‘SK 215 Aurora Queen’24’. These promising additions will be officially named this year.

The trials showcased three plants of each variety, and visitors were treated to hot cider and homemade cookies. Five tour groups visited the nursery to vote on the plants.

“One of the biggest traits that I look for in a poinsettia variety is one that grows well and sizes up consistently,” says Co-founder Judy Mitchell. “I aim to find unique varieties and colors that catch customers’ attention. ‘Princettia Sparkling Rose’ stood out as the overall winner this year — a unique poinsettia!”

Poinsettia Exp Guilia (Lazzeri) at Heimos, Millstadt

‘Exp Guilia’ (Lazzeri) Photo: N.G. Heimos/Millstadt Young Plants

N.G. Heimos/Millstadt Young Plants

N.G. Heimos Greenhouse and Millstadt Young Plants hosted their 16th annual poinsettia trials this year. They held an open house and a day for brokers and breeders to meet.

This comparison trial featured hundreds of varieties from seven breeders, including Beekenkamp, Dümmen Orange, Express Seed Company, Lazzeri, Rinehart, Selecta One, and Suntory Flowers.

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