A Case in “Points”

Jennifer Zurko
About 500 people walked through hundreds of poinsettias during Millstadt Young Plants and N.G. Heimos Greenhouses’ Poinsettia Trials & Open House held on Thursday, November 16.   

Heimos Greenhouses, located in Millstadt, Illinois (spitting distance from St. Louis), has been holding their trial and open house for the last 10 years and it’s become the place to be for those in the Midwest. An event that just started out with less than 100 people, it now hosts hundreds of attendees, including an additional 200 on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior.

“We were very happy to celebrate our 10 years trialing and love having so many attend,” said Amy Morris. “We are grateful to all that support us and thank God for my dad [Norwin] and all his hard work to build our company.” Amy also gave kudos to her nephew, Adam Heimos, who’s been in charge of the trial for the last few years.

There were about 158 different poinsettia cultivars from Syngenta, Selecta One, Dümmen Orange, Beekenkamp, Suntory and Rinehart, plus hardgoods suppliers, and Dr. Jim Faust and Dr. Will Healy as guest speakers. The trial not only compared cultivars by color, but also showed a half-and-half evaluation of those grown under natural light and those that were under black cloth.

We slipped away to take a peek in the greenhouse and saw Millstadt’s staff coloring poinsettias (inset) because, yes, people do like them. Amy said that demand for painted poinsettias has increased 18% in the last couple of years. Consumers like them because they offer something “different” beyond the traditional poinsettia and you can pick ones to match your holiday décor. (In the photo, the staff is painting Marblestar with silver paint and then adding silver glitter.)  

In today’s world of the 99-cent poinsettia that many growers consider a commodity, but also a necessity, it’s hard to make a prediction on how the season will fare. Amy was cautious, but hopeful.

“You never know what the market trend is,” she said. “We just hope we do what consumers want and have such success that they keep buying each year.” GT

Check out the video we took at the Open House.