Calibrachoa Propagation Tips

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Upon Arrival

Calibrachoas can be stored in a cooler for up to 24 hours.

Rooting Time

Unrooted cuttings typically take about four and a half to five weeks to root in a 105-sized plug. Dipping the base of the cutting into 1,000 parts per million (ppm) IBA (indole-3-butyric acid) can be beneficial, especially during early stick weeks.

Growing Media

High-porosity media like Fafard 1P Mix is ideal. Fertiss and Ellepot are also common. Keep pH at 5.4 to 5.8 and test media EC and pH at around three weeks after sticking and adjust as needed.

Pinching

Pinch in propagation at about 3.5 weeks after sticking. Make sure to use good sanitation practices.

Temperature

Media temperatures of 72°F to 74°F are ideal. Once cuttings are fully rooted, the temperatures can be lowered to control growth.

Misting

Spray CapSil at 2 to 4 ounces per 100 gallons one day after sticking to reduce wilting. Gradually reduce night misting from day two to day seven. Keep in mind that oversaturated media can easily lead to losses and iron deficiency related tip yellowing.

Fertilizer

Apply 100 ppm nitrogen (N) when cuttings start rooting, using a calcium-magnesium formulation of a balanced fertilizer with low phosphorus (i.e. 14-4-14, 13-2-13, or 15-5-15 Cal-Mag). Fertilize daily with 150 ppm nitrogen (N) when fully rooted. Supplemental iron chelate (e.g. Sprint 138 or 330) is recommended as a drench at 2 oz. per 100 gal. about three weeks after sticking to avoid iron deficiency related tip yellowing.

Plant Growth Regulators

Spray B-Nine plant growth regulator at 2,500 ppm or Sumagic plant growth regulator at 3 to 5 ppm (make sure to apply lightly) about two weeks after sticking when cuttings are fully rooted and later as needed. It’s also worth trialing Florel plant growth regulator at 350 ppm or Florel (350 ppm) plus B-Nine (1,250 ppm) as a combination.

Fungicides

Spray fungicides for foliar disease prevention such as Botrytis at day two and day nine, alternating between DaconilULTREX fungicide and Heritage fungicide. Drench with broad-spectrum fungicide combination like Subdue Maxx fungicide plus Medallion fungicide four weeks after sticking for prevention of root rots.

Insect Control

Scout for aphids and thrips. If aphids and foliar feeding thrips are present, Avid miticide/insecticide is a choice for control. Once cuttings are well rooted a Flagship insecticide application can provide protection for six to eight weeks.

Karl Trellinger (karl.trellinger@syngenta.com) is a technical services specialist with Syngenta Flowers.
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    2 comments on “Calibrachoa Propagation Tips

    1. Marilyn Rotman

      Some clarification please. Under PGR, are we missing some punctuation that would indicate three applications of B-Nine or Sumagic? Earlier it was stated that liners take 4 – 5 weeks to fully root, then under PGR you say after 2 weeks when fully rooted. I'm just a bit confused. Thanks.

    2. Robin Siktberg

      I contacted Karl Trellinger of Syngenta, the author of this article for clarification, and here is his answer: "In general one application of B-9 or Sumagic is sufficient. The application should be done, once all cuttings started to root, which is about 14 days after sticking. I should not have written “fully rooted”. Later applications can be done as needed."