“Different climates and growing circumstances can lead to different results. Therefore, it is important for growers to know what the poinsettia results would be like for their locations specifically,” says Andrea Lazzeri, Global Product Manager of Lazzeri. At their Fall/Winter 2021 open house (November 19-20, 2021), the Italian company showed off over 40 poinsettia varieties from their own genetics, including some exciting new introductions. The same poinsettia varieties, grown by eight of Lazzeri’s customers, were presented for visitors to compare the growing results in different regions. The FloralDaily team was kindly invited to join the occasion in Sabaudia (Latina) and take a tour around their two greenhouse locations.
Andrea Lazzeri in front of one of the new poinsettia varieties: Maestro Red
100% made in Italy
“What benefits our company is that our entire production process, from breeding to rooting, is fully done in Italy. We do everything ourselves and locally, thus ensuring proper quality and efficiency,” explains Lazzeri. The company has three locations in Italy; the headquarters and R&D facility in Merano, and their two production sites which are both in Sabaudia, covering a total of 10 hectares. The first greenhouse location is mostly dedicated to housing the mother plants and the second location is completely dedicated to rooting.
Adriano Gobetti, CEO Lazzeri, takes visitors on a tour to show the production
A view of the variety 'Superba New Glitter' in the greenhouse
To ensure that the starting material and mother plants themselves remain clean and disease-free, none of the greenhouses can be entered without going through a double door with a strong fan. In addition, the sides and roofs of the greenhouses are covered in insect-proof nets, and some had blue tape on the inside to minimize the threat of thrips. “We want to limit the use of chemicals as much as possible while being able to ensure that our mother plants and cuttings are clean.”
Another important step is taken at this location: the selection. Lazzeri does an annual flowering test, after which only the best get selected according to strict criteria. From color brightness to the leaf size, everything has to be exactly as it should or the plant will be dismissed. “Every year, we renew the whole elite stock (starting material) so that we maintain the desired characteristics.”
The rooting greenhouses are at the second location, which is divided into a plastic and glass greenhouse area. When the cuttings are first planted, they will remain in the plastic area, after which they will be transferred to the glass greenhouse once they have started rooting. “We are investing in our production process, purchasing 2 new machines that can automate the production of many varieties and guarantee a high standard of quality. We will be adding a packing machine in December, in order to make that process more efficient. In addition, our employees have become very well organized and knowledgeable, ensuring that everything runs smoothly.”
Friedhelm Krackhardt, production manager, provides technical information to visitors
The variety Futura Brillant, ready to be shipped in 11 cm pots
The new varieties
“After years of testing, we are now introducing two red poinsettia novelties. As the majority of the poinsettia market is red-colored, we are excited to introduce our varieties inspired by ‘the woman in red’,” explains Lazzeri. “Color is becoming more and more of an important aspect when it comes to poinsettias; it needs to be intense and distinctive.” The company’s answers to the market’s desire for intense red? Maestro and Aida.
The Maestro Red variety has medium to big bracts, large cyathia, and medium-strong to strong growth. So far, the market experience has been that the variety has optimal branching, strong stems, and V-shaped habit. It is a homogenous plant that has a uniform and round shape.
The Aida Red variety has medium to big bracts and strong growth. Growers have already commented on their experience that it has strong roots, is easy to grow, and has a good shelf life.
Poinsettia mother plants
Andrea Lazzeri presenting the 2 newcomers for 2022, Maestro and Aida in 17 cm pots
Morel and Schoneveld, two of the most important breeders of Cyclamen, were also present to show their new varieties
“Another successful edition”
Lazzeri Agricola is a company that does everything, from breeding to young plants to licensing, themselves. Their main market is Italy, but they also export to European countries, such as Germany, France, and Poland. “Our main objective is to provide growers with top quality, which is why we are GLOBAL G.A.P. certified and invest much of our focus on our genetics. Therefore, we are always excited for this annual opportunity to show our varieties to our customers in person.”
This year’s edition of their open days has been especially successful. “After the years that everyone has been through, it is great to see that we were able to welcome around 300 visitors to our company in these two days. Not only is it important for us to talk to our customers in person, they also get to see our varieties’ growing results from different regions, and we had interesting presentations about biocontrol and thrips. It was another successful edition that we get to be proud of.”