Genetic, Moisture and Plant Growth Regulator Effects on Poinsettia Production and Shelf Life


Two trials are reported here:

  • Variety assessment
  • Water deficit work for plant growth control
  • This project followed upon the results of the previous trial, reaffirming year-on-year resilience for several of the newer varieties. The trial provided UK growers with knowledge regarding the performance of new and previously tested new varieties against a known benchmark crop (Infinity 2.0). The crops were grown in a variety of commercial operations, conditions and locations, all representative of the industry, so allowing growers to judge consistent varietal resilience, performance and reliability. The trial also showed that some varieties performed less well and may not be suitable for the UK market, as well as demonstrating how different varieties perform at harvest and then through shelf life. High quality scores at harvest did not always follow through into shelf life, an essential aspect for consumer satisfaction.
  • A “dry growing” regime where the irrigation was restricted and monitored using in-pot moisture sensors combined with data logging and remote monitoring (telemetry), was effectively used to achieve plant height control without the use of PGRs. This approach has the potential to significantly reduce the use of PGRs on this and other protected crops in which control of plant height or growth is needed.
Project code:
PO 021a
01 June 2017 - 31 August 2018
AHDB sector cost:
Project leader:
Dr Chris Bishop, University of Lincoln


PO 021a_Report_Final_2018 PO 021a_GS_Report_Final_2018

About this project


Test a wider range of plant material on the same three sites as 2015/16 but including up to 20 varieties, including pre released numbered material from the key plant breeders. Some of the 20 varieties will be repeats of those used on 2015/16 to establish year to year variety resilience. The use of new material enables the industry to short cut the prolonged variety selection process.



  • To assess a range of new active ingredients on Poinsettia growth and quality. This work package is ongoing and was funded via the existing Pot and Bedding Plant Centre project. This is the subject of a separate but complimentary and co-ordinated proposal led by ADAS.
  • To urgently reassess the potential of using soil moisture sensing, combined with soil moisture deficit growing to control crop growth.