December 29, 2010

Avoiding Rookie Mistakes With PGRs

“Every grower moves the decimal point at some point,” Morris says. “Instead of putting a 1 down you put a 10. I laugh about it, because it happens. I don’t know a grower who hasn’t done it once. You’re in a hurry and you know better, but it still happens.” Fortunately, some PGR mishaps are correctable. In Morris’ case, applying 10 times the amount of Bonzi wasn’t the end of the world. Certain chemicals, she’s found, can help prevent simple mistakes from wiping out a crop. “I have growers who beat themselves up about it,” Morris says. “But did you learn something? As long as you learn from it and don’t do it again, it’s OK.” Even if a mistake isn’t correctable, the key is learning from it. All growers will make mistakes–some may be mistakes to which you can look back and laugh–but taking those experiences and pocketing them […]

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December 29, 2010

Which PGRs Growers Prefer

Imagine you only have the option of using one PGR in production for all time: Which product would you use and why? “Although there are newer products on the market, I have had great success with the paclobutrazol family of products, such as Bonzi and Piccolo. I use them as a spray on some varieties, drench on some plants and a sprench on others. It really keeps my annual bedding plants in check during our colder and cloudier months of January and February when plants in small cell packs and containers get out of control right before spring sales." – Michael Pawelek, Pecan Hill Nursery “We use [Bonzi], especially for Wave petunias – even growing Waves on the dry side or growing cool. We used B-9 on annuals many years ago until we got Bonzi down to an art.” – Robin Waldrop Sr., First Stage Greenhouse “First there was sliced […]

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December 22, 2010

Plant Growth Regulator Guidelines

“You can completely stunt the crop to the point where it will not grow again,” says Chris Fifo, technical services advisor at Swift Greenhouses in Gilman, Iowa. “With some crops, you can excessively delay flowering if you apply too much, too early–and you’ll miss the target window for sales. Then, it ends up in the compost pile. It can be very costly.” It’s all too easy to slip up when applying PGRs, and the price for doing so increases exponentially in a tough economic environment like the one facing growers today. A little attention to detail, however, can help growers avoid costly missteps and get the most out of their PGRs. “The key to PGR use is consistency,” says Jason Fausey, regional field development manager for Valent Professional Products. Consistency Consistency means ensuring the correct volumes and rates are calculated each time an application is made. It means practicing over […]

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September 14, 2010

OHP Develops Plant Growth Regulator Calculator App For iPhone

OHP has introduced its first iPhone application, designed for Apple iPhone, iTouch or iPad users. The PGR Calculator Application is available immediately at no charge through the iTunes Application Store. “We wanted to develop a tool that takes the guesswork out of the equation when it comes to calculating and applying PGRs (plant growth regulants) in the field,” says Dave Barcel, OHP senior technical manager and PGR expert. “It’s as easy as making a phone call on the iPhone.” The PGR Calculator will allow the user to look up current PGR rates in ppm for spray or drench applications. The grower then enters the desired dose and the size of the application area, or the number of pots for a drench and the app calculates the amounts of solution and product needed. “A simple tool like this takes the guess work out of PGR applications and calibration. It’s easy and […]

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July 19, 2010

Fine Americas Releases New Configure Guide

Fine Americas has published a 44-page guide on Configure, its latest plant growth regulator. The guide is titled: “Configure Product Information and University Trial Results.” Edited by Dr. Joyce Latimer of Virginia Tech and Dr. Brian Whipker of North Carolina State University, this comprehensive booklet provides growers with guidelines on optimal use rates and application timings for Configure. “Featuring the active ingredient benzyladenine, or 6-BA, Configure is one of the newest plant growth regulators on the market,” says Kevin Forney, technical services manager for Fine Americas. “Joyce Latimer and Brian Whipker have done an outstanding job of compiling information from numerous evaluations of Configure conducted by researchers and growers throughout the world. With that in mind, we believe this guide is something every ornamental grower should have on hand as a ready reference.” Adds Fine Americas president Greg Johnson: “This is just another example of how we back each of […]

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April 28, 2010

Plant Growth Regulator Strategies For Trixi

Growing Trixi baskets from Selecta First Class requires the right plant growth regulator (PGR) knowledge. Below, Selecta First Class offers recommendations for using PGRs on its different Trixi basket recipes: Plant Trixi baskets with three to four TrixiLiner per 12 inch basket. For pure calibrachoa mixes, Selecta recommends using four liners per 12-inch basket. For all other mixes, it depends on how much crop time was scheduled, but three liners is sufficient most of the time. For recipes using petunias use only three liners per 12-inch basket to avoid overcrowding. Start out warm, as recommended in the growing recommendations, until roots have established and reached the basket. Pinch a second time before plants stretch too much. If single shoots start to stretch, pinch these and keep the basket in shape, focusing on good center branching. A PGR spray application a few days after the second pinch is recommended. Use B-Nine […]

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February 1, 2010

Plant Growth Regulator Developments

Sonali Padhye, an assistant professor in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida, discusses the latest on plant growth regulators (PGRs). You’ll be discussing PGRs at Pest & Production Management Conference. What are some of the latest products available in the PGR market? Over the last few years, patents for several PGR active ingredients have expired and new PGR formulations have been introduced. The new PGR formulations that we have worked with have performed very well. There is continued interest in using Configure (Fine Americas), which contains benzyladenine (BA), to increase branching. I will be sharing some of our data at the meeting. The latest PGR introduction is ConTego (Valent USA) which contains abscisic acid (ABA) and improves post-harvest drought tolerance. I will be discussing the results from our research trials as well as a trial conducted at Shore Acre Farms in Alabama. What are some of your […]

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January 6, 2010

Fine Americas Has New President

Greg Johnson, who previously served Fine Americas as vice president of sales and marketing, has been promoted to president of the company. According to Johnson, his new role reflects Fine Americas’ ongoing growth more than a significant shift in his management responsibilities. “Our operations in the United States, Canada and South America have grown significantly in recent years,” he says. “My new title reflects this growth as well as our company’s continued commitment to market expansion in the years to come. Fine Americas is dedicated to serving the PGR needs of fruit and ornamental growers through new product introductions, uncompromising quality control and exceptional customer service.” For more information about Fine Americas, visit

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January 4, 2010

Proper Plant Growth Regulator Use

Jim Barrett, Environmental Horticulture Department professor at the University of Florida, is one of 15 speakers scheduled to present at the 26th annual Pest & Production Management Conference taking place February 25-27 in Orlando, Fla. Barrett will be discussing plant growth regulator (PGR) use, a topic he briefly discussed recently with Greenhouse Grower as the February 25-27 conference approaches. What are the latest PGRs to hit the market and how would you rate their effectiveness? In terms of size control products, Topflor is the latest product to be introduced and we have done a great deal of work with it. Topflor is a very flexible product that can be used in a wide range of situations. It is active as both a spray and a media drench. Topflor works well on crops sensitive to PGRs and it also can be very good in situations where a lot of control is […]

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August 10, 2009

Keys To Summer Plant Growth Regulator Success

The switch from spring crops to summer crops can be a challenge for growers because of increased day length and day/night temperatures. Plants grown during long days and in warm temperatures with a robust fertility program will exhibit the following: good growth and more good growth. Warm summer evenings will generally add to stem elongation on most plants. PGRs (plant growth regulators) can play a key role in reducing unwanted stretch and can help carry-over crop inventory if the weather slows sales down for a period of time. A good example would be late spring production of violas or pansies. As the weather warms up, violas can stretch and get rather loose in growth. You may find the normal rate of 2-3 PPM Paczol® (paclobutrazol) sprayed is not enough to control stretch and you may need to increase the rate to 3-5 PPM or higher depending on conditions. Using one-half […]

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October 21, 2008

Getting Results With A Liner Dip

Controlling plant height is a key factor in producing a quality crop and maximizing the number of plants that can be shipped per rack. Growers often use both chemical and non-chemical height control techniques to suppress stem elongation. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are commonly applied as foliar sprays, media drenches or sprenches (high-volume spray with runoff into the media), depending primarily on the duration of the desired response. A PGR application method that is being increasingly used by greenhouse growers is referred to as a “liner dip” or “plug dip.” This application method involves placing a plug tray in a shallow PGR solution, allowing the chemical to absorb into the growing media. After the chemical application and when plants are safe to handle, the young plants are subsequently transplanted into finish containers. A plug dip can be very effective on vigorous species and provide a moderately long-lasting response. There is […]

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September 18, 2008

A Fine Fortress

Fine Americas’ most recent addition to its family of PGRs, Citadel, reduces plant height by limiting internode elongation through inhibition of gibberellins biosynthesis. The result is a more compact, marketable plant that boasts darker foliage and thicker leaves. “Citadel is truly a fitting name for the product,” says Kevin Forney, technical manager for Fine, which also offers Concise, Configure, Dazide 85 WSG, Florgib, Fresco and Piccolo plant growth regulators for the U.S. ornamentals market. “Citadel provides a refuge for plants, giving them an improved quality and helping them to grow thicker, stronger and more dense. Citadel gives both the grower and the end consumer exactly what they want–a strong, beautiful plant.” Everything from azaleas to poinsettias, geraniums to woody ornamentals, Citadel is effective on a wide variety of ornamental crops grown in commercial greenhouse containers. It is also effective on hibiscus, bedding plants and other herbaceous crops. “Citadel also increases […]

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