Ten tips for increasing sales of Americans’ favorite holiday plant.
Market your poinsettia plants by developing a themed look to
make a simple holiday product more desirable. All the plants
could be displayed in elegant brass containers or rustic twig
baskets. Spray terra-cotta pots gold, and add moss. Wrap plants
in burlap for a country Christmas look.
Be sure to include a wide variety of price points. Miniature
poinsettia plants are perfect items for single sales and
multiple groupings while the larger specimens are popular with
business firms and churches.
Guaranteeing that the plants will stay beautiful from just after
Thanksgiving until Christmas has proved successful for florists
who have offered preseason specials. Evening television news
spots featuring poinsettias also are an effective marketing
Customers appreciate detailed care and reflowering instructions.
Design a simple handout that can be photocopied for customers to
take home with them. (Use the examples at the end of this
article.) Be sure to include the shop name. And be sure all
employees are fully briefed and ready to answer customers’
questions about care and reflowering.
Many florists offer discounts to churches and hospitals for
quantity purchases of poinsettias. Expand on that idea by
offering discounts to large businesses and local civic clubs and
organizations. Try targeting a direct-mail or e-mail advertising
campaign toward specific community groups.
6. have special discounts
Some florists market a “Decorating Discount” based on volume. They have
a multiple-sale scale that they offer to businesses: The more plants a
business buys, the larger discount it receives. The firms use the
poinsettias as office decorations and then give them to employees as
gifts when they leave for the holidays. Direct-mail and e-mail
promotions can be used to market the program.
7. mass plants for
Massed poinsettias deliver great visual impact. Fill your window with
plants, and spotlight them. Leave the lights on at night, if feasible.
Group plants in the store by color. Pink and white plants would
complement a Victorian vignette; use brilliant red plants in an area
decorated with tartan plaid.
Have Santa deliver the plants! Even just having Santa hats for your
delivery drivers would be a step in the right direction.
9. custom wrap
Wrap your poinsettia plants with wide selection of quality wraps and
ribbon. Let customers select their favorite holiday wraps like at
department-store gift-wrap counters.
10. combine plants
Arrange several varieties of plants together. Look for unusual
combinations that go beyond the traditional to offer your customers
several options. One suggestion might be a full-size red topiary tree
with a cluster of white miniature poinsettias and holly plants at the
POINSETTIA CARE Tips
Poinsettias require at least six hours of bright indirect (diffused)
sunlight every day.
These plants require moderately moist soil at all times. Water them
thoroughly, saturating the soil completely, when the soil surface is dry
to the touch, then allow them to drain; do not allow pots to sit in
water. Water plants immediately if leaves/bracts begin to wilt.
Average room temperatures (60 F to 70 F) are required—65 F to 70 F
during the daytime and 60 F to 65 F at night. Cool conditions prolong
bloom time. Never expose plants to temperatures above 70 F or below 50 F
for extended periods.
Poinsettias thrive in humid air, so in dry interior environments, place
pots on a pebble tray or mist leaves frequently. Keep plants away from
drafts and the heat and dry air emitted by appliances, fireplaces or
Plant food is not necessary while poinsettias are in bloom, but plants
purchased early in the season can benefit from a high-phosphorous
fertilizer applied every two weeks.
getting poinsettias to rebloom
Getting poinsettias to rebloom can be a challenge and is a bit of a
process, but it can be done. Here are the steps to follow.
Late March or early April
Cut plants back to about 8 inches in height. Continue regular watering,
and fertilize with an all-purpose fertilizer. By the end of May, you
should see vigorous new growth.
after all chance of frost has passed
Place plants outdoors when night temperatures will no longer drop below
55 F. Continue regular watering, and fertilize every two to three weeks.
Around June 1
You may transplant plants into larger pots—no more than 4 inches larger
(in diameter) than the original pots. A soil mix with organic matter,
such as peat moss or leaf mold, is recommended. In milder climates, you
may transplant plants into a well-prepared garden bed that is rich in
organic material and has good drainage.
Late June, July or August
Pruning may be required during the summer to keep plants bushy and
compact. Pruning must be done prior to Sept. 1. Keep plants in indirect
sun, and water regularly.
October, November and December
For eight to 10 weeks, starting Oct. 1, plants must be kept in complete
darkness for 14 continuous hours each day/night, followed by six to
eight hours of bright sunlight daily. To achieve the required darkness,
move the plants to a totally dark room, or cover them with large boxes.
Plants also require nighttime temperatures between 60 F and 70 F.
Important: Stray light of any kind and/or temperatures below 60 F or
above 70 F can delay or entirely halt the reflowering process.
Continue watering and fertilizing regularly. Carefully following this
routine should result in a colorful display of blooms for the holiday