It’s time again for the National Poinsettia Trials, a collaboration of the research and trialing efforts of three universities (Purdue University, University of Florida and North Carolina State University), one commercial site (Homewood Nursery in Raleigh, N.C.) and five commercial breeders (Paul Ecke Ranch, Dümmen, Florema, Selecta First Class and Syngenta Flowers).
Trials will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Homewood Nurseries; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla.
With a dizzying array of new poinsettia cultivars hitting market each year, the trials were established to provide an independent evaluation of the introductions and make it easier for already busy growers to choose wisely.
Individual poinsettia varieties require different production procedures vary by geography — southern vs. northern United States — so these trials aim to accommodate those differences instead of having growers struggle to identify the crops that work best for them. Additionally, adequately judging a cultivar takes up to three years and uses much of the bench space that could be used for known sellers.
The trials provide a not-to-be-missed opportunity for growers to pick what will work best in their greenhouses for outstanding sales during the fast-approaching winter holiday sale.