Editor’s Note: Each month, the Greenhouse Grower varieties team chooses one noteworthy variety we think is worth bringing to your attention. Then we share growers’ and breeders’ perspectives on the best ways to produce it successfully at your operation.
This month we feature Bidens BeeDance from Suntory Flowers. BeeDance selections are striking component plants for container gardens and hanging baskets, or as accent plants for sunny applications.
Anne Roberts initial experience with BeeDance Bidens from Suntory Flowers started with a trial conducted in the Winter of 2016. Roberts is President and CEO of Meadow View Growers, which has conducted plant growth regulator trials on BeeDance. She says the crop was easy to produce and sold quickly in the company’s garden center.
“BeeDance selections are striking component plants for container gardens and hanging baskets, or as accent plants for sunny applications,” Roberts says. “They spread readily and bloom continuously in high light conditions.”
Growers in northern states can take advantage of cooler temperatures early in the season and grow BeeDance Bidens varieties with less heat. Growing time will lengthen by a couple of weeks, but fewer plant growth regulator (PGR) treatments will be needed, Roberts says. Southern growers may want to cut back the feed levels to no more than 100 ppm nitrogen (N) and run the crop on the dry side in addition to using a PGR. All growers should pinch the crop early in the crop cycle to induce branching.
Roberts’ Recommendations for Growing BeeDance Bidens Successfully
Temperature: Finish at 45°F to 50°F for a fuller plant. If grown with warmer crops, the application of a PGR or frequent pinching is necessary. Night temperatures will determine the time needed to mature this crop. Growing at 60°F nights and day venting at 70°F days will provide a 4-inch crop that matures in four weeks and 12-inch hanging baskets that will be ready to ship seven weeks after receiving a final prune, if necessary, at four weeks.
Watering: Do not overwater. Allow plants to wilt slightly before watering to keep growth firm and tighter, Roberts says.
Fertilizer: A balanced feed program for bedding plants is suitable for bidens. Meadow View uses a constant feed at 100 to 150 ppm nitrogen with Jack’s 25-5-15 or 16-5-16 Calcium Magnesium Special.
Growing Media: Meadow View Growers uses Metro Mix 360 potting soil for BeeDance Bidens production.
Finishing: 4-inch pots will finish in about four weeks
Propagation: Propagation of varieties, not protected by licensing, is accomplished using mist that is set up for other vegetative annuals, along with bottom heat.
Lighting: Supplemental lighting is not necessary.
Pinching: Meadow View has found it beneficial to pinch liners of BeeDance Bidens to keep plants compact. This is especially true at planting time to encourage a well-branched foundation for developing a full 4-inch pot plant or hanging basket.
Plant Growth Regulators: B-Nine is a good PGR for this crop at 2,500 ppm. To keep plants full, apply PGRs when internode distance exceeds 1½ inches.
Pests: Pests do not seem to be a problem, but keep a close eye out for pesky aphids that seem to come from nowhere.
Diseases: Growers at Meadow View preventively drench new bidens plantings, as a precaution against root rots, with an OHP 6672/Subdue Maxx tank mix.
Learn more about BeeDance Bidens at SuntoryCollection.com/growers/beedance-bidens
Meadow View Growers, established in 1984, is a perennial and annual young plant propagator based in New Carlisle, OH. The operation employs about 30 people year round, including six family members, and adds 15 seasonal employees in the spring. Meadow View sells a broad selection of finished annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, hanging baskets, and fall crops at its on-site retail garden center and to independent local garden centers and landscapers. You can learn more about Meadow View Growers’ retail site at MeadowView.com and its wholesale site at MeadowView.cc.