Friday, December 01, 2006
Ecke Breeds New & Improved Poinsettia
More than 60 million poinsettia plants will be sold during the holidays, and California farmers say their peak sales season starts this week.
Poinsettias have traditionally been sold as potted plants, but the nation's largest producer will begin selling fresh-cut poinsettias this year.
“I think this year consumers are going to find high quality poinsettias. We’ve had very few problems,” says Paul Ecke III, owner of the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, one of the state’s largest poinsettia growers.
Mr. Ecke says he expects excellent demand for the cut flowers, which will be used in holiday-themed bouquets.
“Most florists we talk to need something to put into flower arrangements at Christmas. They just don’t have that much stuff,” Mr. Ecke says. “Obviously, poinsettias are a perfect match because they are the Christmas flower.”
But don’t be surprised if the poinsettias you see in the stores aren’t just the traditional red or white. New varieties are being developed such as an orange-colored poinsettia, he says.
“I personally like the novelty stuff. I also want to make sure that the new generation of consumers out there – the non-Baby Boomers – are going to be interested in our product,” Mr. Ecke says. “I think they’re going to need new, interest products besides the traditional look of the regular poinsettias.”
Ecke added that anyone who voted NO on Prop A qualifies for a free new hybrid Bloodsettia.