California Poinsettia Trends – Plenty of Reds

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The picture shows an employee in a poinsettia greenhouse at Rocket Farms on California’s Central Coast where poinsettias are growing in precise temperatures and conditions to prepare for their shipment to a variety of stores–Costco, Home Depot and other retail outlets. Rocket Farms devotes about 3.5 million square feet of greenhouse space in San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties to the holiday crop, and has been a major poinsettia grower for more than 30 years.

All about Poinsettias, facts:

  • Poinsettias are not poisonous to humans and animals.
  • Poinsettias are a plant and the red portion that people love is the brack, not the flower.
  • Poinsettias can be grown outside in mild California climates where it doesn’t freeze. Plants can reach 10 feet.
  • Red poinsettias were the trend for 2011. Deep rich burgundy to brilliant red cultivars also were considered highly desirable.
  • Poinsettias come in many shades and brack patterns–pink, yellow, white, red, burgundy bracks with speckles, spatters, and glitter appearance on the bracks.
  • 18 new cultivars were introduced in 2011, and you may see some of them available for purchase with names like Christmas Season Fire, Infinity Fire, Premium Ice Crystal, Red Glitter and Noel, to name a few.
  • California is the largest grower of poinsettias.
  • Paul Ecke Ranch (ecke.com) in San Diego County is the world’s leading poinsettia hybridizer.
  • During the 6 week holiday season, sales of potted poinsettias exceed 75 million poinsettias.
  • Poinsettias are the number one selling plant.
  • Poinsettias are an affordable gift. Prices of potted poinsettias in California range from around $5 for a small plant to $15-20 in Costco for a large potted plant and higher in specialty nurseries where you may find greater selections and some of the unique, hard-to-find cultivars for 2011. Poinsettias are used in wreaths and a variety of holiday decor.

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