IF poinsettias are here, Christmas can’t be far behind. Florists, garden centres and open-air markets all over Spain are already full of the plants the Spanish call the Christmas flower.
Many of them will have come from Almeria because the province is the country’s principal grower, leaving its nearest competitor Cataluña lagging far behind.
The Poniente area alone will produce two million poinsettias this year, and one nursery owner Jesus Maldonado has planted 40,000 more this year than in 2014.
Cost is the principal drawback for him and other growers because the plants sell at between €1.50 and €1.70, a price that has remained practically unchanged for 20 years.
“I’ve been growing poinsettias for 25 years, and the price has always been the same but this can’t continue because it’s not cost-effective.” Maldonado said.
Each cutting costs around 40 cents, to which must be added outlay on labour, pots and compost . “It’s very hard work for very little reward,” he lamented.