December 3, 2012

Growers Look To Limit Downy Mildew Losses

Downy mildew on Impatiens walleriana has been confirmed in more than 30 states, primarily in the eastern half of the United States. In 2012, the disease first started to be seen in Florida and then made appearances up the East Coast and in the Midwest during the spring and early summer. Landscapes in drier areas in the East were affected by the disease in late summer. Impatiens downy mildew also appeared in Texas, Washington, Oregon and the Gulf Coast states in 2012. “The disease was identified in only 13 states in 2011 and in 33 states in 2012,” says Margery Daughtrey, senior extension associate at Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, N.Y. “Even though a state was noted as having the disease, that doesn’t mean the entire state was affected. It means that a particular state had a case reported. It could have just been […]

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November 26, 2012

Focus On Dahlia Fertilizer

Dahlias can be grown from seed, plugs, liners or tubers. The newest dwarf varieties have brought intense color and appeal to our customers, which makes this crop a staple value-added selection for the early spring holidays. Fertility Early On In propagation, dahlias prefer to be kept in evenly moist media at a pH below 6 (5.5 to 5.8). Before the signs of first leaves, begin to fertilize with calcium-based formulas, like 15-0-15 or 13-2-13 at 75 ppm. The calcium in these formulas is associated with nitrogen as NO3, which is easily taken up by newly forming root systems. After seven to 10 days, increase your fertilizer rate to 100 to 150 ppm using the same formula for another seven to 10 days. After these initial two weeks, you can use the same formula selection or incorporate a more potentially acidic fertilizer like 21-5-20 as an alternative to keep the pH […]

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November 19, 2012

How-To Production: WonderFall Trailing Pansy

In recent years, advances in pansy breeding have brought a new class of pansies with trailing growth habits to market. These pansies have great sell-through at retail in spring and fall because of their unique spilling habit, floriferous growth and continuous flowering. The new WonderFall pansy series from Syngenta is an example of a trailing pansy with large blooms, specialty flower colors and a vigorous, well-branched habit. Plug Culture Production time for WonderFall pansy is four to five weeks for 288-cell trays and five to six weeks for 128-cell trays. For optimum germination, maintain media temperature at 65°F to 68°F and relative humidity at 95 to 100 percent until radicle emergence (about two to five days). On day six or once cotyledons emerge, reduce humidity to 40 to 70 percent, alternate media moisture between medium and moist, lower night temperature to 60°F to 65°F and increase light levels to 1,500 […]

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November 14, 2012

Focus On Fertility: Osteospermum

Osteospermum is a tender perennial, now classified outside of the dimorphotheca genus. In the more temperate climates, it can overwinter. However, when exposed to reoccurring frost or true freezing temperature, it will act as an annual. To homeowners, it goes by the common name of daisy or African daisy due to its flowers, which can vary in shape from small, large and spoon-like patterns. Producing this crop in a greenhouse can be done in many different container sizes to accommodate small-space containers, hanging baskets and also larger landscape plantings. Fertility requirements, however, remain the same. A Strong Root System At the youngest stage, hybrid osteospermum can best take up nutrients in the media when kept in an evenly moist environment at a pH between 5.8 and 6.5. Osteospermum have longer stems and need to support a large flower, so establishing a strong and healthy root system is key. Begin by […]

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November 9, 2012

Kube-Pak’s Bill Swanekamp: Preparing For Downy Mildew In 2013

Impatiens downy mildew was one of the biggest disease stories of 2012, and the potential for more issues next spring has growers considering new ways to manage the situation. Impatiens walleriana is traditionally a big crop for Top 100 Grower Kube-Pak, in Allentown, N.J. Greenhouse Grower asked president Bill Swanekamp to talk about his plans for impatiens in 2013 and how he’s already working hard to protect his customers and his business this season. Greenhouse Grower: How was Kube-Pak impacted by downy mildew last year? Swanekamp: Even though there was downy mildew in our region, there wasn’t much of an impact on our 2011 season. We didn’t really hear about it from our customers because it showed up late in the summer. I think, in many cases, people assumed it was from the hot weather or the plants were just petering at the end of the season. Then, as we […]

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October 24, 2012

Discovering Dahlias

    Athena Brazil Happy Days Dahlia Series Happy Days dahlias’ signature large, single blooms with dark centers flower just above the purple-bronze foliage. Four new colors provide long-lasting and vibrant flowers that do not flush. With a large basal branching habit, growers can expect a height of 12 to 16 inches and a width of 12 to 14 inches. Rooting takes three to four weeks, while finishing occurs in eight to 10 weeks.   Athena Brazil Gallery Dahlia Series Five recommended varieties — Bellini, Cezanne, Matisse, Pablo and Rivera — are well-branched with uniform habit and flowering. The large, striking, fully double flowers are free-flowering and do not flush. The finishing dimensions are 14 to 18 inches tall and 12 to 14 inches wide. Like the Happy Days series, rooting takes three to four weeks, and finishing occurs in eight to 10 weeks. PlantHaven Dahlia ‘Mystic Fantasy Hawaiian Dreams’ […]

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October 11, 2012

Downy Mildew On Impatiens: Resources And Advice

Impatiens Downy Mildew Found In OhioApril 16, 2013 | The Ohio State University Extension encourages growers to begin preventative treatment now. Everything You Need To Know About Impatiens Downy Mildew Dec. 6, 2012 | Ball Horticultural Company gives growers quick facts about the disease plaguing the country’s most popular bedding plant. How To Grow SunPatiens Dec. 6, 2012 | This disease-resistant alternative to Impatiens walleriana from Sakata Ornamentals gives consumers a comparable, colorful option for their gardens and landscapes. Growers Look To Limit Downy Mildew Losses Dec. 6, 2012 | Thirty-three states were affected by impatiens downy mildew in 2012. Growers are being proactive to limit financial and plant losses in 2013. Ball’s Mike Klopmeyer On What To Do In 2013 About Impatiens Downy MildewHow much of an affect will impatiens downy mildew have in 2013? Get an update on the spread of this disease and recommendations for your 2013 crops […]

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October 11, 2012

Surfinia Petunias: Production Secrets

A global revolution in vegetative annuals began when Suntory introduced Surfinia petunias, the first vegetatively propagated petunias. Robust and vigorous, Surfinias reinvented petunias as a genus, which had been dominated by compact seed annuals. More than 20 years later, Surfinias are still No. 1 in the world. The original trailing types span 20 colors with fresh new genetics including Deep Red, Yellow and Baby Deep Purple. Mounding types include four Patio types and three Baby Compact colors. Growers have especially liked the new Bouquets for their floriferous and dense habit. Surfinia Bouquets now span five colors, including the new Denim. But the most exciting introduction for 2013 is the new Surfinia Summer Double petunias in Rose, Pink and White. The Summer Doubles reinvent double petunias by offering the superb heat and weather tolerance Surfinias are known. General Culture Rooted cuttings should be potted as soon as possible into 4-inch to […]

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October 4, 2012

Spring Production Of Tapien and Temari Verbenas

Suntory created a revolution when it introduced the Tapien and Temari verbenas, the first two major series of vegetatively propagated verbenas. The Tapien series is a groundcover type that produces a carpet of blooms with fine foliage from April through November. Vigorous plants are versatile for pots, baskets, window boxes and landscapes. Tapiens continue to be refined and are available in five colors: Blue-Violet, Lilac, Pink, Purple and Salmon. Soon after Tapien came Suntory’s Temari series, which became the model for large-flowered verbenas in even more colors, including Burgundy, Magenta and Cherry Red. Temaris are available in seven trailing colors and four patio types with a mounding habit that is more upright. Proven Performance Although the market has become considerably more crowded, Temari and Tapien verbenas continue to outshine the competition in university trials. In 2011, ‘Temari Blue’ and ‘Temari Cherry Red’ were both named Prairie Star Winners at Kansas […]

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September 27, 2012

Osteospermum Gets A Makeover

Relatively unknown a decade ago, osteospermum has become much more popular with both growers and consumers. At this year’s California Spring Trials many of the top breeders offered new osteospermum varieties, colors and series. The new Sweet series from Dümmen, for example, offers growers more compact plants and is now available in two more unique colors. Danziger’s Osticade series boasts striking orange and yellow colors, a change from the standard whites, pinks and purples. Fides Oro showed off two new osteo cultivars and added five new colors to the Margarita series and two new colors to the Cape Daisy series. Sakata, Goldsmith Seeds and PanAmerican Seed introduced new cultivars, and Cohen added five colors to its Astra series.  “In the last three seasons, we have seen our sales increases driven by Ball FloraPlant’s Osteospermum ‘Voltage Yellow’ and by the 3D doubles series from Selecta. If you compare the sales today […]

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September 12, 2012

New Coleus Introductions For 2013

Take a look at new begonia varieties from Ball FloraPlant, PanAmerican Seed and Ecke introduced in 2012 for 2013 production. ‘Honey Crisp’ from Ball FloraPlant Cream leaves feature green flecks, rose edges and peek-a-boo red undersides, with the same habit as ‘Electric Lime.’ ‘Honey Crisp’ is sensitive to PGRs. Height: 18 to 24 inches Spread: 28 inches ‘Vino’ from Ball FloraPlant This eye catching Coleus complements ‘Honey Crisp’ nicely, with deep wine-colored leaves that grow darker in the sun. Upright, medium habit. Height: 18 to 30 inches Spread: 24 to 28 inches Coleus ‘Chocolate Covered Cherry’ from PanAmerican Seed This new coleus is a great performer in full sun and high humidity. Its late flowering and dwarf size make it adaptable to premium pack sales and small space gardens. Height: 12 to 14 inches Spread: 10 to 12 inches Luminesce, part of the Stained Glassworks Series from Ecke Luminesce is […]

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September 12, 2012

Focus On Fertility: Coleus

Coleus is a versatile plant that is favored in container and landscape settings due to its rapid growth and high tolerance to environmental conditions. To homeowners, it is known as the plant that almost anyone can grow well. Its varying and unique habits, from trailing to mounding, shade to sun and a rainbow of colors and leaf shapes allow flexibility for any landscape. So how does this affect fertility when producing these plants in the greenhouse? At Propagation At the youngest stage, either sown seed or vegetatively propagated, coleus can obtain nutrition in the media when kept in an evenly moist environment at a pH between 5.5 and 6.0. However, rather quickly after germination or transplant, it is important to focus on establishing a strong and healthy root system. Begin by applying fertilizer on a constant basis at a low rate of 50 to 75 ppm. You can achieve the […]

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