Poinsettia open house showcases 110 varieties

December 09, 2013
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Dec. 9, 2013, Vineland Station, Ont. — A steady stream of growers took time out from shipping last Thursday to attend the annual Poinsettia Cultivar Open House at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

Featured were 110 cultivars, including over 30 numbered selections. Participating breeders included Dummen, Paul Ecke Ranch, Beekenkamp Plants, Selecta First Class and Syngenta Flowers.

Wayne Brown shows examples of a variety grown cool (at left) and the same variety grown under regular temperatures.

New this year was a cool temperature growing trial, with a 17 C day/night set point beginning Oct. 1. In an adjacent greenhouse, the same varieties were grown at 19 C. In both cases, venting was initiated at 20.5 C.

Echoing comments from growers touring the benches, trials manager Wayne Brown said whitefly was rarely a problem this season. Helping keep things under control were Amblyseius swirski, Eretmocerous mundus and Encarsia.

Brown is the greenhouse floriculture specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food /Ministry of Rural Affairs.

The trials are sponsored by OMAF/MRA, the University of Guelph and VRIC.

Beekenkamp's 1030 Compact: one of the strong red performers.

Dummen's VK1301: one of the strong red performers.

Reds dominate, but novelties have their share in the market. One grower we talked to said novelties represent about a third of his crop.

Ecke's 19-96: one of the strong red performers.

Whitefly pressures were light this year.

Sigma Red of Syngenta: one of the strong red performers.

Selecta SK91: one of the strong red performers.

Cool crop trials. Growers could compare each variety and how it responded to the different temperature regimes.

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