The plant comes originally from Mexico and Guatemala, and with the arrival of winter in the Northern Hemisphere its green leaves transform and acquire the characteristic red color of Christmas. About 500 million units are sold, making it the best-selling plant in the world in the period when the year is close to ending.
In fact, the sales of this flower during the Christmas season exceed the purchases of roses for the celebration of Valentine's Day.
In Colombia’s case, estimates from the Colombian Association of Nurseries and Ornamental Producers (Colviveros) predict that in the coming Christmas season, 450,000 poinsettia flowers could be marketed in the country.
Jairo Cadavid, president of the nursery guild, which has 536 members, said that the poinsettia season is highly anticipated by the more than 35,000 rural farming families across the country, who rely on the production and marketing of ornamental plants such as orchids, anthuriums, succulents and potted roses, among others.
The union leader said that the poinsettia market will generate just over 12,000 million pesos (about 3.5 million dollars) this season for the plant’s entire production and marketing chain.
For his part, Octavio Jiménez, manager of Jardineros Ltda., a company that was recognized as the best producer of poinsettias in the country during the ExpoPlantas Technical Contest, held at the nursery fair last October in Cali, said that the municipalities of La Mesa, San Antonio del Tequendama and the upper part of Fusagasugá, in Cundinamarca, are the areas accounting for most of the country’s poinsettia production, mostly thanks to their thermal floors and the exceptional conditions that these generate.
Nohora Espejo, of Poinsettias de Colombia, based in the municipality of La Mesa, has seen how their products have continued to gain ground in the domestic market year after year, allowing their company to generate employment in its nursery.
The portfolio of this renowned Colombian company features ‘Christmas flowers’, with more than five different colors besides the traditional red. They also point out that the length of the stems of their plants range from 15 to 130 centimeters.
Juan Humberto Espejo, who trained professionally in floriculture for export, has also been producing the plant for more than 15 years and this has allowed him to earn a very good reputation in the market as a result of his specialization.
The president of Colviveros highlighted the support that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been giving to nursery cultivation. In fact, the resources provided made it possible to organize the first Business Roundtable for the sector in the framework of ExpoPlantas 2019 as a complement to the 'Harvest it and sell it' program, with which the National Government seeks to bridge the gap between producers and buyers.
It should be noted that the production of live and ornamental plants is a sector which is mostly in the hands of rural families devoted to agriculture.
Furthermore, the sale of flowers for domestic use is a business that generates 180,000 million pesos (about 52.5 million dollars) annually in the country, while exports of plants and foliage generate about 20 million dollars, as reported last year by Colviveros.