Lobelia Offers A Downy-Mildew-Resistant Option

Lobelia 'Techno Heat Electric Blue'

Consider vegetative lobelia, such as the Techno and Techno Heat series from Syngenta Flowers, as a vivid and versatile alternative to Impatiens walleriana. The two series give consumers a long-lasting and low-maintenance color show in containers, combos and borders. Both Techno and Techno Heat deliver award-winning garden performance.

For spring and summer sales, we recommend lobelia for all regions of the U.S. and Canada, in shade or part-shade. Lobelia is also well suited for fall and winter use in the southern regions of the U.S. The Techno and Techno Heat series are early to flower and day-length neutral, working well for all turns in 4- and 6-inch programs.

Lobelia Propagation Tips

Upon Arrival: Stick relatively quickly and get cuttings hydrated as soon as possible. Only store unrooted cuttings overnight in a cooler if necessary. Cuttings can easily dehydrate.

Rooting Time: Unrooted cuttings typically take about three and a half to four weeks to root in a 105-sized plug. The heat-type lobelias (i.e., Techno Heat varieties) root faster than most traditional non-heat types (i.e., Techno Blue).

Growing Media: High-porosity media is ideal. Fertiss and Ellepot are common choices. Keep pH at 5.6 to 6.2, and test media EC and pH about three weeks after sticking. Adjust as needed.

Pinching: Lobelias do need to be pinched. Be sure to use good sanitation. Cuttings should be well-rooted before pinching.

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

Misting: Spray CapSil one day after sticking to reduce wilting. Do not quit misting too soon and keep humidity high. Lobelias thrive best when misted lightly until adequate rooting occurs, which should be at about two to two-and-a-half weeks.

Gradually reduce night misting from day two through day seven.  Purpling of cuttings can occur when lobelia are taken off of mist too early before they have adequate roots or when the media is staying too saturated to allow root development.

Fertilizer: Apply 100 parts per million (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 N when fully rooted.

Plant Growth Regulators: Spray B-Nine plant growth regulator at 2,500 ppm or Sumagic plant growth regulator at 1 to 2 ppm (make sure to apply lightly). It’s also worth trialing Florel plant growth regulator at 350 ppm or Florel (350 ppm) plus B-Nine (1,500 ppm) as a combination spray about 12 days after sticking and before pinching.

Fungicides: Spray for Botrytis control at day two and day nine, alternating between Daconil ULTREX and Heritage. Drench with a broad-spectrum fungicide (Subdue MAXX plus Medallion fungicide combinations) three to three-and-a-half weeks after sticking to maintain a healthy root system.

Lobelia Finished Production Tips

Grow Time (from rooted cutting): A lobelia in a quart container with one pinch per plant (ppp) takes six to seven weeks of grow time. In a gallon container with two ppp, grow time is estimated at eight to nine weeks. Lobelias in 12-inch baskets with four to five ppp take 10 to 11 weeks of grow time.

Pinch: One pinch, ideally done in propagation, is enough for small and midsize pots. Trailing types will benefit from a second pinch a few weeks after transplant. The second pinch is not as crucial for Techno Heat upright types. When pinching, use excellent sanitation, including viralcides like Virkon-S, RelyOn or Trisodium phosphate.

Growing Media: High-quality media with good porosity is critical for best growth. Peat-based mixes or bark-based mixes can work well.

Fertilizer Rate: Apply 200 ppm N using Cal-Mag fertilizers (i.e., 13-2-13, 15-5-15, 14-4-14, etc.) for more compact growth and neutral pH. Use high ammonium and phosphorus-containing fertilizers (i.e., 20-10-20, 15-15-15, etc.) for softer growth and to lower pH. EC should be between 1.8 to 2.2 mS/cm (SME), with a pH between 5.8 and 6.2. Avoid letting plants get bone dry.

Light: Lobelias should ideally receive more than 4,500 foot candles (15 mols/day). Also, faster and improved flowering occurs when daylength is greater than 12 hours.

Plant Growth Regulators: Spray with 2500 ppm B-Nine plant growth regulator or 5 to 10 ppm Sumagic plant growth regulator to keep plants under control. Bonzi plant growth regulator drenches at 1 ppm also work well three to five weeks before sale.

Insects And Diseases: For lobelia, thrips and thrips-vectored diseases, such as impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) can cause problems. Flagship insecticide, Avid miticide/insecticide and Conserve insecticide are effective in a thrips management program. Test suspicious-looking plants immediately. Symptoms of INSV on lobelia include spotted and necrotic leaves, similar to high salt damage. Subdue MAXX, Heritage and Daconil ULTREX fungicides provide protection against foliar and root disease.    

Leave a Reply

More From Crop Inputs...
protecting bees and pollinators video

March 31, 2015

New Video On Protecting Bees And Pollinators Educates Horticulture Industry Professionals

A new educational video that provides information on the horticultural industry’s essential role in bee and pollinator stewardship is one result of industry collaboration by the Horticultural Research Institute, AmericanHort, Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment. “Protecting Bees & Pollinators: What Horticulture Needs to Know,” narrates the current state of bee and pollinator health, provides information on factors that impact pollinators and the environment and underscores the beneficial role horticulture plays in providing healthy pollinator ecosystems.

Read More
Basil_Persian-AAS2015_620x329

March 31, 2015

California Summer Vegetable Trials To Be Hosted By National Garden Bureau Members

Vegetable breeding companies will come together this August to host the Summer Vegetable Trials in California. Like the long-standing California Spring Trials that are held annually in California, attendees will have the opportunity to visit breeding companies' trial sites in seven locations throughout the state, from August 20-21, 2015. National Garden Bureau (NGB), the non-profit organization promoting gardening on behalf of the horticulture industry, is organizing and publicizing this event on behalf of its members.

Read More
DNA-logo

March 31, 2015

DNA Green Group Will Acquire Rijnplant

DNA Green Group and Riknplant have finalized DNA Green Group's acquisition of Rijnplant, meaning that the breeding and propagation activities in pot and cut anthurium, bougainvillea and heliconia will transfer to DNA Green Group.

Read More
Latest Stories

March 31, 2015

Manufacturers Are Taking Biologicals To The Next Level

Through acquisitions and new products, many crop protection companies are making firm commitments to the future of the biocontrols industry.

Read More
OxiPhos_BioSafe2

March 23, 2015

BioSafe Makes Label Changes To OxiPhos And ZeroTol 2.0

There have been some recent label changes made to the BioSafe Systems product OxiPhos, a systemic bactericide/fungicide that reduces downy mildew spores when tank mixed with ZeroTol 2.0.

Read More
Nufarm_logo

March 23, 2015

Nufarm Fungicides Now Registered For Use On Edible Crop…

Nufarm Americas announced label expansions for two of its fungicides that will provide more pest management options for the ornamental industry. The Cleary 3336 F and EG fungicides are now registered for use across a wider range of edible crops, including select greenhouse vegetables and transplants, herbs and backyard fruit.

Read More
ColeusDMLeafSporulation_Daughtrey

March 11, 2015

Research Gives Clues For Preventing Coleus Downy Mildew

Maintaining awareness of coleus downy mildew is more important than ever to safeguard these attractive plants for reliable garden performance.

Read More
Rose Rosette on Knockout rose, May 2013. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 2, 2015

Rose Rosette Disease Fight Gets A Boost From Government…

In 2014, $4.6 million was awarded through the Farm Bill to tackle rose rosette disease, a devastating pathogen that affects one of the industry’s most important crops.

Read More
Fig 1 Leafy Gall On Leucanthemum Becky

March 2, 2015

How To Prevent Leafy Gall Before You Lose Plants

Leafy gall is a nasty disease that can go undetected until plant damage is done. Take these steps to protect your crops from infection.

Read More

February 17, 2015

A New Look At Biological Control: Can Plants Affect The…

The success of a biological control program depends on a number of factors including quality of natural enemies, timing of release, release rates and environmental conditions. However, what is typically not taken into consideration is how plants can affect the performance of natural enemies, including attack rate and searching ability. Biological control agents work hard to protect plants, but plants have ways to help themselves, too.

Read More

February 1, 2015

New Pest Control Products For Your Toolbox

Add one of these new insecticides to your IPM program for successful pest control.

Read More
IR-4_profile_Feb2015

January 29, 2015

IR-4: A Pest Management Resource For Growers

Almost 40 years ago, IR-4 (Interregional Research Project Number 4) began serving the ornamental horticulture industry, helping to facilitate the registration of pest management tools. IR-4 does this primarily by surveying growers about their pest management issues and then hosting workshops to review survey results and set priorities for the coming years. Most recently, IR-4 coordinated a meeting of researchers and industry members on pollinator health and neonicotinoid chemistries to start a discussion on the needed research. The next step will be to get the outcomes from that workshop out to the public.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow: Peace Tree…

Lloyd Traven, a speaker at the upcoming Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow, was one of the industry’s early adopters of biocontrols in the greenhouse. Traven, owner of Peace Tree Farm, is evangelical about the technology as an effective tool for resistance management, as well as improved plant quality that contributes to a grower’s bottom line.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Southwest Perennials Improves Production, Shortens Crop…

A father-and-son team find LEDs deliver a higher rooting rate for cuttings propagated under the lights.

Read More
Wainwright-web-620x349

January 22, 2015

Quality Control With Biocontrols

Make sure the shipment of beneficials that just arrived is viable and ready to go to work in your greenhouse, nursery, or field. Here are five steps you can take to ensure success with your biocontrols.

Read More

January 9, 2015

6 New Fertilizer Products For Healthy Plants

These five products add even more options for delivering nutrients to the root zone.

Read More

January 7, 2015

Fertilizers And The Future

As growers look for new ways to cut costs and conserve resources, fertilizer and equipment companies are offering products that strive to save water, reduce toxic runoff and keep chemicals out of the equation.

Read More

December 31, 2014

Gain Greater Control Of Fertilizer With Automated Ferti…

University researchers look at integrating irrigation and fertilization with the help of water sensors to reduce fertilizer treatments and improve application timing.

Read More
As directed by EPA, the bee hazard icon appears in the Directions For Use for each application site for specific use restrictions and instructions to protect bee and other pollinators.

December 9, 2014

Fact Sheet: The Value Of Neonicotinoids To Turf And Orn…

An extensive study of the diverse turf and ornamental industry (“The Green Industry”) reveals that neonicotinoids are the top-rated products used by professionals to control their most important pests in greenhouses, landscapes, lawns, nurseries and trees.

Read More
As directed by EPA, the bee hazard icon appears in the Directions For Use for each application site for specific use restrictions and instructions to protect bee and other pollinators.

December 9, 2014

New Study Finds Neonicotinoids Are Top-Rated Products F…

According to results of a survey by AgInfomatics, professionals in the turf and ornamental industries fear the loss of neonicotinoid products would reduce the quality of their plants and services, increase costs and negatively impact their ability to manage pest resistance.

Read More

December 2, 2014

Grow-Tech Announces BioStrate, Its Newest Hydroponic Gr…

Grow-Tech LLC recently announced the release of BioStrate Felt, a biobased textile specifically engineered for the growing of hydroponic microgreens and baby salad greens.

Read More