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Poinsettias blooming at one of UK’s largest growers thanks to biomass heating

Growing poinsettias at this time of year requires heat so rising gas prices are a concern for producers (Joe Giddens/ PA)
Growing poinsettias at this time of year requires heat so rising gas prices are a concern for producers (Joe Giddens/ PA)

One of the UK’s largest growers of poinsettias said they have continued to produce more than one million of the popular Christmas houseplants this year despite the energy price crisis.

Bridge Farm Group, based in Spalding in Lincolnshire, supplies Tesco, and the supermarket chain said that UK growers are taking over from the Dutch as the main suppliers of poinsettias.

Louise Motala, managing director of Bridge Farm Group, said: “Growing poinsettias at this time of year requires heat and we know that Dutch growers have cut back on production this year due to rising gas prices.

“We have been able to manage our energy costs through the use of sustainable biomass heating, enabling us to continue to produce over one million UK grown poinsettias again this year and ensuring that consumers will still be able to buy this much-loved festive plant this Christmas.”

Tesco said that UK growers have increased their supply to the supermarket by almost 800% in the last five years.

Tesco plant buyer Vicky l’Anson said: “When poinsettias first became popular as a houseplant in the late 20th century we used to import them from Holland, but now most of our stock is grown in the UK, with Bridge Farm Group our main supplier.

Poinsettia producers gear up for Christmas
Lisa Lindfield inspects the crop of Poinsettias at Bridge Farm Group in Spalding, Lincolnshire, ahead of the Christmas period (Joe Giddens/ PA)

“The British variety are more acclimatised to the UK climate, so not only do they involve fewer road miles by being grown closer to home, but they are hardier too.”

The poinsettia season is one of the shortest and they remain in stores for roughly eight weeks – from the end of October until the end of December.

Poinsettias originated in Mexico where they originally grew much like a weed.

Poinsettia producers gear up for Christmas
Poinsettias were successfully marketed as a Christmas-themed plant during the second half of the 20th century (Joe Giddens/ PA)

They got the name ‘poinsettia’ after Joel Roberts Poinsett who was a representative of the United States to Mexico as well as being a keen botanist.

They were successfully cultivated in the US during the early 1900s by a German immigrant named Albert Ecke.

Later generations of the Ecke family successfully marketed poinsettias as a Christmas-themed plant during the second half of the 20th century, and they are now widely associated with festive cheer.