Now that we are in December, we all know it's poinsettia time!
For those growers that have had benches and greenhouses full of poinsettias for the past few months, you know what I am talking about. It's "go time" at retail and hopefully your racks are rolling out the door loaded with this year's poinsettia crop for your customers.
I am headed to the University of Florida this week to check out their 2012 poinsettia trials. Tomorrow the university will conduct its Poinsettia Trial Field Day with more than 6,000 poinsettia plants on display.
The Field Day will take place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., at the Environmental Horticulture Greenhouse Complex in Gainesville. If you have never seen the University of Florida's poinsettias and you are in the area, you should be sure to stop by — it's definitely a trip worth making.
GPN's consulting editor Dr. Jim Barrett told me that this year the university trialed more than 100 poinsettia varieties from such breeders as Beekenkamp, Dümmen, Ecke, Selecta/Ball, and Syngenta. These trials are part of the North American Poinsettia Trials. Other participating institutions include: North Carolina State University and Homewood Nursery and Garden Center in Raleigh, N.C.and the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Ontario, Canada.
Tomorrow, Dr. Barrett will be giving presentations on how the different varieites performed at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. And then on Thursday and Friday, the university will hold its Poinsettia Show and Sale for master gardeners and the general public. Proceeds from the poinsettia sale go to the university's Environmental Horticulture Club.
Stay tuned to GPN's Facebook page  because I will be posting photos from the Field Day later this week. Also, we will be featuring the results from the North American Poinsettia Trials in the February and March issues of GPN.
Did you grow poinsettias this year? Did you grow more this year than you did last year? Did you increase your prices this year vs. 2011? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org  and let me know how your poinsettia season has been so far.