Poinsettias, Christmas Potted Bulbs, Fall Perennials: Order Now
January is the time to begin thinking of the holidays for next season. We’re talking about Poinsettias and Christmas Bulbs, such as Amaryllis.
It’s easier to order now when things are still fresh in your mind about what worked, what didn’t sell, and which ones were winning varieties.
Be sure to order your unrooted cuttings and rooted liners in spring/summer for Christmas production. Check out our Tech On Demand videos to help with preparation and growing tips. Here, in Part 1, see the beginning of your Poinsettia crop starting with sanitation and URC Handling.
Advice from Territory Manager James Doukas: Order what you know works in your greenhouse. Trial what is new or what may be interesting to add to your program. Never jump into a core red without trialing it at your own facility, in your own system. Timing and regionality are very important factors to consider, but desired finished specs (height, ppp, etc.) are equally as important.
Recommendations: Christmas Candle is a newer variety for growers that want a larger bract with vigor to finish a 6-10” size, timing right after Black Friday. Christmas Bells is great for a grower that wants a durable 4-8” poinsettia that sleeves like a dream, and is early to color and late to pollen timing late (week47 and week48).
Rising in popularity as cut flowers, these seasonal bulbs produce lovely flowers for the holiday season. Customers should place their orders in the spring. Check out this Amaryllis catalog for more information.
In addition to holiday varieties, it's also time to get your orders ready for 2024 Fall Perennials.
Advice from Product Representative Chris Fifo: Order from your favorite supplier early! It is not uncommon to plan a Fall Perennial program and order inputs in February/March to have the best chance to secure desired varieties and quantities, especially when it comes to tissue culture propagated crops like Echinacea Sombrero and Heuchera Carnival.
Customers should evaluate their Fall market for the optimal sales window. Chris has found far northern regions, such as Minnesota, North Dakota, or upstate New York, start their markets much earlier due to the shortened growing season. Northern markets are prime around back-to-school time. As for the Midwest, Fall programs are strong generally beginning Labor Day for about six weeks. Southern markets don’t really begin until October, and can sometimes extend to Thanksgiving. In many markets, Perennial deliveries often accompany mum sales, since they don’t drive foot traffic in the Fall on their own.
The first-year-flowering scheduling tool gives some very good specific recommendations. Be aware of those "long day" Perennials, such as Echinacea, Phlox paniculata, Asclepias, or Fall Asters. As days get shorter in the Fall, these crops will take longer and longer to finish. If planted too late in the Summer, they will not come into flower without the grower using artificial long-day lighting.
For example, Echinacea planted before July 1 will finish in 8-10 weeks. If planted mid to late July, for southern growers with later markets, Echinacea will take 10-12 weeks to finish. If trying to finish for end of September, after the Fall equinox, daylength is getting too short for flower development on these crops.
Contact your Ball Seed sales rep or Ball ColorLink associate for information on availability. To order now, log into WebTrack or call 800 879-BALL for immediate assistance.