Paul Ecke had a daunting objective in the 1960s when he started breeding pointsettias. He wanted to take a tall, gangly mexican shrub and turn it into a potted plant. Then he had another daunting objective: how to position a plant no one ever seen before into a staple of Christmas celebrations.
Ecke was able to breed poinsettias and went on to create the best selling pot plant in the world today, The Paul Ecke Ranch has 70% market share of rooted cuttings in the US AND 50 % market share worldwide. Talk about market dominance.
The next step Ecke faced was how to position the new plant as a part of family Christmas celebrations. And his solution was absolutely brilliant. The location of the ranch in Encintas, CA was close to Hollywood. He decided to offer free plants to decorate the set of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Local stations were overwhelmed with inquiries about the beautiful red plants displayed on the Tonight Show. And the rest is history.
This year's introduction from The Paul Ecke Ranch is 'Polar Bear'. They claim it is the whitest white introduced to date. For each plant sold, Ecke will make a donation to Polar Bears International, a group dedicated to the conservation of this beautiful animal. Part of the PR campaign included this display at a greenhouse grower tradeshow in Las Vegas constructed of 10,000 poinsettias. One more brilliant tactic from the third generation of the Eckes.