Breeders reveal their latest festive favourites with a modern twist!

No home is complete in the run-up to Christmas without that much-loved icon of the festive season – the poinsettia! And as we prepare to say goodbye – and good riddance – to pandemic-struck 2020, there’s no better way to bring hope and cheer into our homes than by snapping-up one of the latest varieties of beautifully coloured poinsettia, created by leading plant breeding houses.

There is, however, a quiet revolution taking place in the world of poinsettia breeding, with experts working behind the scenes to conjure up a new generation of novelty plants that that will wow shoppers in the run-up to the festive season. Breeders represented by Stars for Europe regularly release new poinsettia varieties – here’s a snapshot of the most innovative introductions that will be making their way to stores around the UK.

Breeder Selecta One has a uniquely different new poinsettia – the ‘Christmas Mouse’. Its rounded red bracts (below top) are more reminiscent of a mouse’s ears than a poinsettia’s traditional pointed leaves, making it a fantastic novelty that’s guaranteed to bring smiles to faces and add an extra touch of Christmas magic for children. The breeder has also unveiled ‘SkyStar’, a variety featuring white dots that are reminiscent of sparks of light, infused across its red-topped leaves (below bottom).

Newcomers from breeding house Dümmen Orange include the new Euphorbia Hybrid series ‘JÁdore’ (below bottom), which is available in white, pink, dark pink and soft pink. It has a striking, unique bract shape and colour while plants display a strong V-shaped structure and round growth. Look out for their other novel poinsettia called ‘Freya’ (below top) which displays dark leaves and an excellent habit. ‘Freya’ belongs to a group of poinsettias called NanoBract, meaning that all bracts are at the same height. Plants display rich red tones, even in artificial light.

Beekenkamp’s new poinsettias for 2020 include ‘Robyn Red’ and ‘Blissful Red’ (below bottom), both of which have a beautifully branched habit. ‘Robyn Red’ displays darker foliage that contrasts with its smooth red bracts whilst ‘Blissful Red’ features medium-sized bracts and slightly smaller foliage. The breeders at Syngenta Flowers have also come up trumps with new Poinsettia ‘Mirage Red’ (below top) – a winner for dark green foliage topped by traditional Christmassy red bracts.

How to keep your poinsettia looking great this winter

– Choose poinsettias from warm, sheltered displays located away from store entrances.

– Ask the checkout operator to wrap your plant in paper to keep it snug on the trip home.

– Never leave poinsettias shivering in chilly cars while you do other shopping.

– Grow your plant a warm, draught-free position that’s kept between 15 to 22 degrees.

– Poinsettias relish lots of light, so choose a bright location with filtered sunlight.

– Only water when compost feels almost dry. Never leave pots standing in saucers of water.

– Around four weeks after purchase, start feeding monthly with indoor plant fertiliser.

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