It seems like stores bring out their Christmas merchandise earlier and earlier each year. October has just begun and I’ve already seen a few stores start stocking their shelves with the season’s adornments. Apparently, Halloween and Thanksgiving are being cast to the wayside in favor of extending the most wonderful time of the year. So much for 12 days of Christmas!
Poinsettia growers are no stranger to this phenomenon, in fact, we may be the blueprint for it. Despite it being September, we’ve been well into this year’s poinsettia production since early January. After wrapping up Christmas and ringing in a new year, we begin the process of reviewing the previous year’s poinsettia program while it’s still fresh in our minds. We evaluate which varieties performed best in production, taking into consideration timing, uniformity, disease resistance, and response to environmental conditions. We also have to assess how the plants perform once they leave our farm. Which varieties withstood the rigors of shipping best? Which colors were most popular? Which varieties held up best in stores and in consumer’s homes? Each year we trial dozens of new varieties to which these questions become of upmost importance to determine their fate and whether or not they get added to the lineup. Even our tried-and-true varieties get scrutinized to ensure we continue to offer the cream of the crop.
Once we establish which varieties we want to move forward with, we begin scheduling the product. In order to provide fresh plants from November through Christmas, we select cultivars that are staged to be ready at different times throughout the season. The cuttings arrive at our facility in July and are sourced from farms in Mexico, Central America, and Africa. This year has marked a new milestone in our poinsettia program with nearly 2 million cuttings being used. By the time August rolls around, we have all the plants potted up and have 3 months to get them ready for their debut.
All our planning and preparation is guided by 58 years of experience of producing poinsettias commercially – first for retail florists and garden shops and, in recent years, for the mass market. We take great pride each year in bringing beauty and joy each holiday to so many. With the third generation now vitally involved in the business, we are confident that the best is yet to come!