Photo Progress
Registration Info


Poinsettia Trial Links


DSF's website


Sponsors of the
2014 Poinsettia Trial









Michael Oleykowski
Syngenta Plant Protection
and Bioline











































2015 Trial To Be Held Thursday November 12, 2015
at Dan Schantz Greenhouse in Zionsville, PA


Ecke Ranch, like the poinsettias we grow, has become in many ways part of the American tradition.  From finding new ways to reduce growers risk to adopting new business solutions, the Paul Ecke Ranch commitment goes well beyond its advanced poinsettia genetics. Increasing production capacity to meet grower demand, our regionally based technical support staff, and our 24/7 support from our website are all a part of how this traditional company is growing solutions for today.

Autumn Leaves

Sparkling Punch
Paul Ecke Ranch

Premium RF 043 NN
Dummen NA

Titan Pink

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 2014 Poinsettia Judging

  • Sparkling Punch from Paul Ecke Ranch was judged Best Novelty
  • Titan Pink from Syngenta was judged Best Pink
  • Premium RF 043 NN from Dummen was judged Best Red/Best Overall
  • Titan White from Syngenta was judged Best White
  • Charon Red from Beekenkamp was judged Grower's Choice
  • Saxonia Christmas Hot Pink from PAC Worldwide was judged Farm Favorite

Titan White

Charon Red

Saxonia Christmas Hot Pink
PAC Worldwide

To see the development of these 10 varieties from sticking to color please follow the link below and see all of the growth that these varieties have gone through since they were stuck back in July. Thumbnails and full sized images are available.


Photo Progress



Photo Progress

We photographically followed the progress of 10 varieties involved with the poinsettia trial once a week starting shortly after the cultivar was stuck and we will be posting the final set of pictures at the end of this week to show just how far these varieties have come since July 11, 2014 when the first set of pictures were taken. With the trial coming up next week now is a good time to take a look at these 10 varieties and get an idea of what will be waiting for you if you decide to attend the trial on November 13. Remember this trial is for horticultural industry members and is not an event open to the general public.

Saturnus Red from Beekenkamp 7/11/14

Click the image for a closer look

Saturnus Red from Beekenkamp 10/31/14

Click the image for a closer look

Click here to view and download our brochure

The 2014 Poinsettia Trials are coming up quickly. If you haven't already registered and set aside the day to come out to Dan Schantz Farm for the trial now is the time. With only a little over 60 days left until the trial now is the time to confirm your attendance.

There will be  over 160 different poinsettia cultivars from several of the top breeders in the U.S. and Europe available for inspection at the 2014 trials.


Come see hundreds of poinsettia plants on display at the Pennsylvania Poinsettia Trials and Open House November 13, 2014. 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 with the agenda listed below:

7:30 AM - Attendees POP Trial opens for evaluation and examination

Morning snacks & drinks available. Registration and plant listing booklets available.

10:00 AM - Dr. James Faust - Clemson University

Topic:  How Poinsettia Production Has Changed Since 1828

The first poinsettia plants were grown in America by Bartram Gardens in Philly in 1828 where they were sold for $2 each. While the prices haven’t increased much, the production methods have. Jim will walk us through two centuries of poinsettia production and highlight the major developments that have created the current growing methods!

11:00 AM - Gary Vollmer - Product and Technical Manager Selecta North America

Topic: Growing Selecta Poinsettias

Tips and strategies for growing top quality Selecta Poinsettia. I will cover specific poinsettia strategies from propagation to post harvest, focusing on key tips and strategies as they relate to the top selling Selecta varieties.

12:00 PM - Lunch (Registration Fee includes lunch)

1:00 PM - Michael Oleykowski - Sales & Technical Support for Syngenta’s Plant Protectants and Bioline Groups.

Topic: New Options in insect control strategies!

Integration of chemical strategies along with biological strategies offers growers superior measures provides compatibility is understood and followed.   Newer selective insecticides help give growers better options. A new chemical  mode of action in insect pest control recently approved for broad spectrum control of greenhouse pests will be discussed.

Pesticide Category Credit

2:00 PM - Dr. Bill Argo - Blackmore Company

Topic: Poinsettia Fertilization From Start to Finish

Dr. Argo will cover poinsettia fertilization during 4 periods of growth; rooting, early growth (after rooting to just after pinch), rapid growth (after pinch to color), and finishing the crop.  He will also discuss common nutritional problems with poinsettias, and how to correct them.

3:00 PM - Bill Riden - Pesticide Education Program - Penn State Extension

Topic: Top Tips for Pesticide Applicators

A review of the top tips on being an outstanding pesticide applicator. The talk will include the latest on the labeling that may be required by greenhouse/nursery growers in regards to neonicotinoid use on the plants sold to the big box stores.

4:00 PM - Continue to enjoy the POP Trials at your leisure.

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

The Truth About Poinsettias

We here at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses are just beginning to get into the “spirit” of Christmas as the poinsettias continue to be stuck in the greenhouse at an ever increasing pace. It seemed like a good time to dispel a commonly held misconception about the toxicity of poinsettias that appears to have started way back in 1919 when the tragic death of a child was attributed to the child ingesting poinsettia leaves. The American Society of Florists did extensive research into the matter and eventually the report of the child’s death by poinsettia leaf ingestion was show to be nothing more than hearsay. 

The belief became so ingrained in the consciousness of people that even today the myth persists that the poinsettia plant is poisonous to children and pets so much so that a recent survey of florists found that 66% believed it to be true. The American Society of Florists joined with researchers at the Ohio State University to take an objective and scientific look at whether there was any truth to the belief that poinsettia leaf ingestion was deadly to either children or pets. Their conclusion after giving rather large doses to rats was that there was no toxicity or any other side effects from having ingested the poinsettia leaves.

Click here for the rest of this article


Ecke Ranch Poinsettias Video


Sparkling Punch
Ecke Ranch



Saxonia Christmas Red

Final Cultivar Lists Now Posted

We now have final confirmations from all of the breeders who will be participating in the poinsettia trials that will be held in November. You can check out the entire lists that Ecke Ranch, Syngenta, Selecta, Dummen/Red Fox, PAC and Beekenkamp have submitted to us on our cultivars page. If everything comes in that has been listed on the confirmations we will have over 140 varieties for display at our trial in November and attendees will have the opportunity to examine all of these varieties to see what will work best in their own operations.

We have now received all of the lists from our breeders and they are posted on the cultivars page. . Take a look at the lists by
following this link and let us know what you think. Although we have not even hit the summer months you should probably be making plans to attend the Poinsettia Trial for the 2014 growing season on November 13, 2014 at the Dan Schantz Farm in Zionsville, PA. It will be worth the trip! Did I mention that registration includes a continental breakfast and lunch too? Stay tuned.

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.

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 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

Red Glitter
Ecke Ranch
(Click image for details)


Ek 5010
Ecke Ranch 2014
(Click image for details)


Happy Christmas


Christmas Cookie


Ecke Ranch


Mars Pink


Carousel Dark Red


Cinnamon Star


Mira White


Hollystar Red


Charon Red


Alreddy Fancy


Monet Twilight
Ecke Ranch


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