Dan Schantz Farm Links

DSF's website


Sponsors of the
2013 Poinsettia Trial




















2014 Trial To Be Held Thursday November 13, 2014
at Dan Schantz Greenhouse in Zionsville, PA


The Selecta Group is one of the leading breeding and propagation companies in the business of vegetative propagated ornamental plants worldwide.

Dramatic Red

Gary Vollmer

Gary Vollmer who is currently the Product and Technical Manager for Selecta North America will be speaking at the 2014 Poinsettia Trial & Open House held at Dan Schantz Farm on November 13, 2014. We are proud to have Selecta North America as one of the sponsors of the 2014 Poinsettia Trial and they will be presenting new and what many are calling some of the most exciting genetics in the world in the poinsettia cultivars that will be on display at this year’s trial. Having spent a large portion of his adult life growing poinsettias means that Gary Vollmer will bring an enormous amount of practical and unique wisdom to the trial in November born out of his abundant knowledge as a grower and from the experience he has gained in his current position with Selecta. Since 2010 Gary Vollmer has been working to provide technical support to growers on Ball FloraPlant and Selecta crops which has given him a unique opportunity to interact with a wide variety of growers allowing him insights into the problems they have faced and the solutions that allowed them to move forward. We are delighted that Gary is the first speaker that has been confirmed for our upcoming Poinsettia Trial on November 13 and we are sure that attendees will benefit from his years of practical experience as a grower and from his perspective as the Product and Technical Manager for Selecta North America.

Check out a couple of articles by Gary on poinsettia production.

Joel Roberts Poinsett

Fun Facts about Poinsettias

  • Poinsettias are not poisonous. Scientific research from Ohio State University has shown that the poinsettia is non-toxic. All parts of the plant were tested during these studies including the leaves and the sap. Check out this article from Horticulture Update.
  • The poinsettia is originally from Mexico and was introduced to the United States by Joel Roberts Poinsett who was a botanist, a physician and the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.
  • December 12th is Poinsettia Day and was so designated because it also marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1851.
  • In Mexico the Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a perennial shrub or small tree and can reach heights between 2ft and 13ft.
  • The leaves on a poinsettia are called bracts (modified or specialized leaves) Some bracts are brightly colored as in the case of the poinsettia and serve the function of attracting pollinators.
  • There are over 100 varieties of poinsettias in the marketplace and the USDA's last report says that the potted poinsettia crop for 2012 was valued at $144 million.
  • Poinsettias are the best selling potted plant in the United States and Canada and is usually sold as a Christmas plant within a six-week period that leads up to the holiday itself.

Michael Foster

No Pinch Poinsettias
By Michael Foster©
As featured on GPN's Culture Connection Newsletter

ZIONSVILLE, Pa. - Perhaps as a grower you have been wondering why it would benefit you to attend a poinsettia trial, and the simple answer to that question is information and experience. The poinsettia trial is the perfect place for a grower to gain information about a large variety of cultivars with only a little investment of time and money. Experimenting with new untried cultivars is something that many growers don’t have the time or the money to pursue since it would have a direct impact on the bottom line of their organization if it did not work out. 

The trial is also a great opportunity to “pick the brain” of those growers who spent the last several months growing the many cultivars on display and finding out from them what worked, what didn’t work and how they achieved the results that they did with the poinsettias. 

Members of the horticulture industry were called on to act as judges during the trial and to spotlight a few of the cultivars that really stood out from the rest as examples of best in class plants. Those judged as best were 'Da Vinci' from Syngenta, which was judged as Best Novelty poinsettia. The Best Pink poinsettia was 'Christmas Feelings Pink', the Best Red poinsettia was 'Christmas Season Red' and the Best White poinsettia was 'Candlelight White' (all three from Selecta). Best of the Greenhouse went to 'Alreddy Red' from Beekenkamp and Best of Farm was 'Premium Red' from the Dümmen.

To read the rest of this article at GPN's website click here.

Warren Goll

Organizer of the 2013
Poinsettia Trial

Poinsettias: Re-Marketing the Christmas Plant
By Anne Harnish Food and Family Features Editor©
Excerpted from Lancaster Farming w/permission


ZIONSVILLE, Pa. - " Poinsettias are finicky. As these traditional tropical Christmas plants start to show up at retail stores this week for the holiday season, most customers are unaware of all the pinching, chilling, lighting, drenching, spraying, sleeving and other careful techniques required to raise and sell "Christmas-perfect" versions of the plant. 

"What I always told students was, if you’re a poinsettia grower, you have a one-time million-dollar crop," said Allen Hammer, a retired Purdue floriculture professor who now provides technical support for breeder-producer Dummen NA, at a recent industry event in Zionsville, Pa. "You make half-million-dollar decisions several times a day." 

Poinsettias contribute more than $250 million to the U.S. economy at the retail level in the six weeks prior to Christmas, according to University of Illinois Extension information. But producers gathered last Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Industry Poinsettia Trial and Open House to learn about the newest varieties and to discuss challenges in poinsettia production, the slowing of sales and the need to re-market poinsettias to attract new customers. 

To read the rest of this article at the Lancaster Farming website click here.

At its worst, depression can be a frightening, debilitating condition. Millions of people around the world live with depression. Many of these individuals and their families are afraid to talk about their struggles, and don't know where to turn for help. However, depression is largely preventable and treatable. Recognizing depression and seeking help is the first and most critical towards recovery. In collaboration with WHO to mark World Mental Health Day, writer and illustrator Matthew Johnstone tells the story of overcoming the "black dog of depression".


The 2013 Poinsettia Trials are over and this is what you missed by not attending. The 2014 Poinsettia Trials are in the planning stages and will be held in November of next year. Stay tuned for more information about next year's trials so that you won't miss out.

There were 112 different poinsettia cultivars from several of the top breeders in the U.S. and Europe available for inspection at the 2013 trials.

Come see hundreds of poinsettia plants on display at the Pennsylvania Poinsettia Trials and Open House November 14, 2013. All major international poinsettia breeders have agreed to provide their very best cultivars as well as experimentals for your appraisal. Representatives from each company will be on hand to discuss their poinsettias.

The POP Trial (Poinsettias of Pennsylvania) will offer both a natural season and a shaded plant trial of each cultivar. Additionally, a no-pinch test using Augeo, a plant growth regulator, will be available for evaluation. A complete poinsettia listing and program booklet will also be provided.

The POP Trial is hosted at the Dan Schantz Farm located at 8025 Spinnerstown Road Zionsville PA 18092.

The POP Trial includes seminars by an outstanding panel of speakers:

•  Dr. James Faust – Clemson University
Who spoke on What We Learned from Growing Poinsettias in  2013

•  Dr. P. Allen Hammer – Dummen USA
Who spoke on Reinvigorating the Poinsettia - An Industry Challenge!

•  Mr. Rick Yates – Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supply
Who spoke on Insect, Mite and Disease Control in Poinsettias

•  Dr. Harvey Lang – Syngenta Technical Services
Who spoke on Poinsettia Shipping and Post-Harvest Tips – Delivering Quality Plants to the Consumer.

•  Dr. Kerry Hoffman-Richards – Pesticide Ed , Penn State University 
Who spoke on Water Quality: Effects on Pesticide Performance.

The POP Trial will offer Core (2) & Category (2) pesticide recertification credits.

Early blind judging by knowledgeable growers will be held the day before, with results posted on the 14th

At the 2013 Poinsettia Trial this demonstration was rather hypnotic after awhile as we watched the robots go methodically about the business of moving and spacing the poinsettial pots that were set up.  The video at the right is a promotional video but will give you a good idea of what they do.


The Future Of Automation: Q&A With Harvest Automation’s
John Kawola from
Greenhouse Grower Magazine

Harvest Automation Demonstration


Alreddy Red

Christmas Feelings Pink

Premium Red

There were so many beautiful poinsettias on display at the trial that I would have been hard pressed as a judge to decide between all the cultivars presented. The judges pressed on and came up with these cultivars that were named the best of the show.

The Winners of the 2013 Poinsettia Judging

  • Da Vinci from Syngenta was judged Best Novelty
  • Christmas Feelings Pink from Selecta was judged Best Pink
  • Christmas Season Red from Selecta was judged Best Red
  • Candlelight White from Selecta was judged Best White
  • SK-101-104 from Selecta was judged Best Future Possibility
  • Alreddy Red from Beekenkamp was judged Best of Greenhouse
  • Premium Red from Dummen Group was judged Best of Farm

Candlelight White

Christmas Season Red

Da Vinci

Poinsettia Cultivars

Happy Christmas


Christmas Cookie




Mars Pink


Carousel Dark Red


Cinnamon Star


Mira White


Hollystar Red


Charon Red


Alreddy Fancy


Monet Twilight
Ecke Ranch


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