How are the Italian poinsettia genetics doing within the US?

After 15 years of breeding in poinsettia and over 10 years of expertise with their genetics on the European market, Italian breeder Lazzeri entered North America in 2020. Because the introduction, numbers elevated, and a number of other varieties have even been awarded. Their collaboration with Syngenta ended this yr, “whom we thank for his or her work,” says Lazzeri’s CEO Adriano Gobetti, and a brand new collaboration has begun with Vivero North America, with manufacturing in Mexico and headquarters within the US. Lazzeri delivers the genetics, and Vivero the cuttings. “As well as, we’re proud that Dr. Johannes Nebelmeier has rejoined the Lazzeri R&D workforce.” All in all, Lazzeri invested lots over the past years, and it’s bearing fruit. With a view to study extra in regards to the poinsettia sector within the US and the poinsettia performances in several areas, International Product Supervisor Andrea Lazzeri determined to make a visit via the nation.

Adriano Gobetti.

The US poinsettia market
Earlier than presenting Lazzeri’s ‘poinsettia journey,’ first some tendencies and developments he observed. When visiting the growers, Lazzeri, for instance, observed that more and more extra firms are looking for methods to grow to be extra sustainable. “They weren’t solely within the traits of our varieties and the way they’ll adapt to excessive climates, they had been additionally within the manufacturing strategies. There was a powerful give attention to sustainability all over the place. They, for instance, attempt to reuse as a lot water as doable, cut back using peat in substrates, use much less plant progress regulators (PGR’s), and work with decrease temperatures to maintain prices down.”

All in all, Lazzeri is happy with what he has seen. “I am blissful to see that our genetics are in a position to adapt very properly each to situations of Florida and the Southern United States, the place the local weather is sort of tropical – let’s not overlook that was found in Mexico- and additional north, the place situations are extra just like these we discover in Italy and Europe.”

Tim Kepner of Pure Magnificence with Amarena Early Glitter and Angelica Cretu and Kathleen Cooper of Costa Farms. Each nurseries are based mostly in Florida.

Nonetheless, there are extra elements which have piqued their curiosity. “For instance, People know add worth to the product and that they’re caring for the standard of packaging and delivery – an important side contemplating the lengthy distances the product usually has to journey. Additionally, they handle to cost greater costs than growers in Italy.”

Lastly, one other necessary development he observed are the early gross sales. “It’s one thing our Italian growers might study from. In Italy, poinsettias are provided from the Immaculate Conception onward, whereas abroad, they begin promoting them as early as the start of November. This makes it doable to ship a more energizing product, which might last more from the shopper and has decrease manufacturing prices as a result of much less heating is required within the greenhouse.”

The poinsettia journey

Amy Morris of Millstadt Younger Vegetation with Carmen purple and Ivan Tchakarov of Metrolina with Superba New Glitter.

Kicking off in Illinois
The tour took off on November 16, 2022, with Millstadt Younger Vegetation in Illinois as the primary cease. “We had been welcomed by Amy and all the Millstadt workforce. They introduced us the brand new purple varieties, ‘Aida,’ ‘Carmen,’ ‘Maestro,’ and ‘1605,’ and confirmed the traits of ‘Alaska’ and ‘Superba New Glitter’ to a number of teams of brokers. Within the days that adopted, Lazzeri went to Westfield (Indiana), Springfield (Tennessee), Mills River, and Huntersville (North Carolina), the place firms Heartland Growers, South Central Growers, Van Wingerden Worldwide, and Metrolina Greenhouse have the identical purple varieties and the Superba household on trial.

Matt of Heartland Growers with Superba New Glitter and Josh Peterson Van Wingerden with Alpina.

Within the warmth of Florida
The “Poinsettia tour” then moved to Miami, Florida, to look at how poinsettias are grown outside. “It was terribly fascinating to see which you could make lovely ‘Stars’ in such situations,” Lazzeri says. “There have been temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) in the course of the day and 30 °C (86 °F) at evening, even within the fall. This will have an effect on the manufacturing however each the reds like Gloria Purple (1605) and different colours, equivalent to ‘Amarena Early Glitter,’ responded very properly.” And he noticed related ends in Orlando, the place the climate situations had been a bit milder however nonetheless very popular.

Deanna Felton of Solar Belt with Aida Purple and Tom Costamagna of Younger’s Plant Farm with Gloria Purple (1605).

From Georgia to Alabama
At Solar-Belt Greenhouses in Douglas, Georgia, there was a chance to look at a larger-scale take a look at. Along with the purple varieties, there have been extra varieties on trial, like ‘Amarena Early Glitter’ and the Superba household, significantly ‘New Glitter,’ ‘Marble,’ ‘Pink,’ and ‘White,’ and in even bigger portions ‘Alaska’ and ‘Serena Purple’ in pots of various sizes. “The overall suggestions has been excellent right here as properly.” Final cease within the South at Younger’s Plant Farm in Auburn, Alabama, to see a poinsettia trial of the identical dimension.

Melissa Winchester of Mast Younger Vegetation with Superba Poker and John Davies of Henry Mast Greenhouses with Maestro Purple.

Within the North
After the November 24 break for the Thanksgiving vacation, the journey resumed heading north. The primary cease was Mast Younger Vegetation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Right here, the Superba Poker sequence and a mixture of the Superba Poker sequence stood out. “The benefit of this sequence is that the varieties on this sequence have the identical vegetative attribute.”

A couple of miles away, they stopped at Henry Mast Greenhouses in Byron Middle. “It was useful to see how the poinsettias react a bit of otherwise within the North than within the South whereas nonetheless sustaining excessive responsiveness. Additionally, it was stunning to see, again in Illinois, on the subsequent cease at Clesen Brothers in South Elgin, how the Superba household manages to carry out on this a part of the US. Particularly ‘Purple,’ ‘Pink,’ ‘White,’ and ‘New Glitter,’ grown from medium dimension to XXL.”

Dale Shimanek of Cleson Brothers with Superba Purple and Ian of Dan Schantz Farm with Superba Poker.

In Pennsylvania, they visited Dan Schatz Farm in Zionsville, and Esbenshades Greenhouse, in Lititz. “Right here, temperatures had been nearer to what’s often thought of very best for poinsettia rising in Italy.”

Cindy Holmes at Lucas Greenhouse with Carmen Purple and Kimberly Dewar with Aida Purple, and Patricia Dewar with Gloria Purple (1605) at Dewar Nurseries.

Additionally, Lazzeri attended a variety of open homes. Loads of them are organized throughout that point of the yr. Lucas Greenhouses, in Monroeville, New Jersey, for instance, organized one the place Joan Moris and her workforce took the chance to current all the Lazzeri genetics.

Samantha of Plantpeddler with Superba combos and Mike Gooder and Andrea Lazzeri with Superba New Glitter.

High Purple Selection
The final cease of the journey was at Plantpeddler Wholesale in Cresco, Iowa, the place Andrea Lazzeri visited the Plantpeddler Poinsettia Selection Day together with Dominic Neisser and Nico Learn from Vivero Internacional Mexico. “Right here, annually, guests are requested to vote, through a three-flag system for “Finest Purple Selection” and “Finest Non-Purple Selection” with a 3, 2, 1 level scoring. There have been over 175 varieties from all of the world’s main breeders on trial in 2022, and among the many “non-reds” Lazzeri’s ‘Superba New Glitter’ triumphed and was ranked first.

Nick Learn and Dominik Neisser from Vivero Internacional Mexico and Andrea Lazzeri at Plantpeddler Poinsettia Selection Day.

Greg Grothe of Knox Horticulture with Aida Purple.

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