Riding The Wave Of Spring

Riding The Wave Of Spring

I am quite pleased to have an opportunity to touch base with the readers during the spring rush. Having been a grower myself for 30 years, I remember how crazy it gets when you’re still planting and shipping at the same time. As we get pulled in so many directions at once, it’s easy to lose focus on quality aspects. I thought I would talk a bit about Wave® petunias and what you can do make it easier to keep a handle on the quality of your crop. The following tips pertain to all Wave varieties.

When you are getting Wave petunias ready for transplant, here are a few things to think about:

– The week before transplant, Wave plugs should get their last PGR application of B-Nine or Bonzi. This will help in pushing out more breaks after transplant and create a fuller plant at finish.

– Make sure the plugs are fresh. A root-bound plug will produce an uneven crop and poor root development. Have you ever tried to sleeve a grown basket and the whole top pops out of the basket? Chances are all that was holding the plants in the basket were a few “tap” roots coming off the original plug. The plants can grow and look normal from the top but there are no anchors holding the plant in the pot.

– Before the plugs get transplanted, give them a good soaking with feed. This will help jump start them after transplant. It also minimizes water stress and transplant shock. A soaking will tide the plants over from the transplant line to the bench, where they should be watered as soon as possible.

After the Wave crop is transplanted into finished pot or pack sizes, here are a few tips to help with quality:

Water in thoroughly with clear water or medium feed solution, depending on the starter charge in your soil mix. This helps in getting the plug in physical contact with the soil mix. The plugs will send out roots faster when contact is made. This also establishes capillaries in the soil ball for water/air transfer.

Wave petunias have a day length/temperature relationship for flower initiation. If the days are long enough for flower initiation but night temperature is below 60ËšF, you may see some flower delay. Wave petunias are most efficiently grown at night temperatures of 62ËšF to 66ËšF. This will minimize the crop time to color.

All spreading petunias have to grow a certain number of leaves before you see the first flower. They also have internodes between those leaves. These internodes have the potential to stretch if the plants are grown too close or under lower light conditions; for example, under a layer of hanging baskets or in Northern locations like Michigan. The most proactive way to control this internode stretch is with a PGR application.

With Wave petunias, we recommend a Bonzi drench a week or two after transplant. The active ingredient clings to the soil particles. As the plant grows into the fresh soil, the roots are constantly picking up the active ingredients. This, in turn, controls the internode stretch over a longer period of time. One Bonzi drench application can give you internode control for two to three weeks, depending on the temperature. The other nice thing about drench applications on Wave petunias is that it has less of an effect on flower size and delay compared to the spray applications.

Wave petunias grow and tone best under higher light conditions. During the spring, growers try to get as much light as possible into their greenhouses. Remember that as you fill the upper levels with baskets, you sacrifice the light quality below. The best Wave crops are grown with minimal baskets above.

Our industry has been growing petunias for many decades. Over the last four to five decades, we have learned to manipulate the growth of hybrid petunias with culture by growing on the dry and lean side. One difference we have learned about spreading petunias is that they don’t react the same way to this “lean and mean” way of growing.

Multiflora petunias, for instance, can be grown cool and hungry for weeks, and five days before we need them we could warm the crop up and pump them full of feed and out they go. Spreading petunias take much longer to come out of this treatment. The grower has to think, schedule and grow differently. Wave petunias react best to a growing regime of moderate level constant feed, neutral to negative DIF and PGR applications. Basically, a “steady as she goes” mentality works best with the Wave crop.

The Right Wave For The Right Container

Make sure you grow the right Wave petunia series for the container or purpose you’re after.

For growers who grow and finish for early season (March to April), the Shock Wave and Easy Wave series are the least day length sensitive. This makes them the best choice for growing under short day conditions. These also perform best in 306 packs, 4-inch and 6-inch pots and hanging baskets.

The original Wave series and the Tidal Wave series are excellent landscape performers. If your business deals at all with the landscape trade, these series are a must to grow and promote. Original Wave petunias also work well in mid- to late-season baskets and Tidal Wave varieties work great in large patio containers.

Thirteen years after their first introduction, Wave petunias are the leading spreading petunias in the world, and the buzz keeps building. With four All-America Selections Winners, numerous university trial awards, a strong focus on marketing and multiple touch points in our industry and in the consumer market, the Wave brand is one of the best-known plant brands in the business. Consumers ask for it by name in garden centers because they know and trust it, and an all-new consumer marketing campaign in spring 2008 will encourage people to look for Wave petunias in their recognizable pink packaging. It’s also the only flower with a fan club. Launched just two years ago, the Wave Fan Club now includes more than 12,000 members who have joined the online community at www.wave-rave.com.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Riding The Wave Of Spring

  1. We are losing a wave petuna garden to a home addition in a week–what are the chances of keeping the petunias alive with a mid-summer transplant?

  2. We are losing a wave petuna garden to a home addition in a week–what are the chances of keeping the petunias alive with a mid-summer transplant?

More From Annuals...
Four Star Greenhouse Proven Winner Plants At English Garden

May 26, 2015

Retailer To Grower: It’s Time To Offer Services To Local Garden Centers, Too

Retailers wonder why mass merchants are the only ones to receive stocking, merchandising and plant care from growers.

Read More
Greenhouse Electrical System

May 26, 2015

Don’t Let Your Greenhouse Electrical System Come Up Short – Part 1

Ensuring your greenhouse has enough electricity to operate all the equipment that is installed takes planning and consideration of an operation's needs. Part one of two articles on greenhouse electrical systems covers choosing an electrician, meeting immediate and future needs and planning for back-up power.

Read More

May 22, 2015

Nexus Greenhouses Is Optimistic For Expansion Into New Markets

Cheryl Longtin and Mike Porter, who own Nexus Corporation, say they were excited to attend the grand opening of Gotham Greens’ new structure atop the new Whole Foods grocery store in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., when it opened in December 2013. The project is just one example of some of the new and expanding markets that Nexus Corporation has expanded into over the past few years. Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales for Nexus, says the company has enjoyed getting to know and working with the founders of Gotham Greens, Viraj Puri and Eric Haley, and Jennifer Nelkin Frymark, the chief agriculture officer, on their innovative approach to business. “They are very excited and work hard internally – just great people,” he says. “From our perspective, it’s great to see that excitement and vision. The employees there are happy and there’s no turnover; they’re only adding new people […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Salvia 'Ember's Wish'

March 11, 2015

Annual Salvias – Not Just Red Bedding Plants Anym…

Salvias are popular — and they need not all be the same. Here are a few you know well, and perhaps a few you do not. All are easy to grow and may be found through a broker or grower.

Read More

February 18, 2015

California Spring Trials Sneak Peek: New Annuals For 20…

If you're like us and you can't wait until the 2015 California Spring Trials to see some of the new genetics that will be hitting the market in 2016, never fear. We contacted the breeders who will be displaying their new varieties in California in April, and they gave us a sneak peek. Check out our slideshow to see some of the new annuals making their debut to the trade this spring.

Read More

November 14, 2014

First Vegetatively Propagated All-America Selections (A…

All-America Selections (AAS) honors two vegetatively propagated impatiens with AAS winner status.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Growing Tips For Verbena

Rich Schoellhorn, product manager at Proven Winners, shares some tips for growing verbenas successfully.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Greenhouse Grower 2014 New Varieties Guide: Petunias [S…

Greenhouse Grower asked more than 40 breeders to send photos of new introductions they think are worth your attention. The result is the 2014 New Varieties Guide. See what petunias made the cut.

Read More

June 12, 2014

New Begonia Variety And Coleus Series, Plus Two Lobelia…

Terra Nova Nurseries introduces seven new varieties and one new series.

Read More

May 27, 2014

Two New Salvias Added To Southern Living Plant Collecti…

Two new salvia varieties are now available exclusively to growers from the Southern Living Plant Collection and Sunset Western Garden Collection.

Read More

May 9, 2014

New Petunias Making Their Debut In 2015

Take a look at the new petunia varieties that will be making their appearance in 2015.

Read More

April 23, 2014

Foliage Begonias May Be A Big 2015 Trend [Spring Trials…

A number of breeders debuted their rex begonia and begonia hybrid lines at 2014 Spring Trials.

Read More
Petunia 'Success Violet' from Benary

April 11, 2014

What’s New With Petunias For 2014? [Slideshow]

Breeders are rolling out great new petunia introductions for 2014. Take a look at the variety of petunias they have to offer.

Read More
Verbena 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' from Proven Winners

November 11, 2013

Three New Verbena Superbena Introductions From Proven W…

Three new varieties have joined the verbena Superbena line-up this year: 'Superbena Royale Plum Wine,' 'Superbena Royale Whitecap' and 'Superbena Violet Ice.'

Read More
Calibrachoa 'Mini Famous Double Blue' from Selecta

October 17, 2013

6 New Calibrachoa For 2013

Check out these lovely new introductions in calibrachoa.

Read More

October 10, 2013

Begonia ‘Silhouette Lemon Rose’ Doubles The Bloo…

Begonia ‘Silhouette Lemon Rose’ is a striking begonia hybrid with phenomenal basal and lateral branching. Plant sterility gives maximum continual flowering throughout the season with double the bloom number of a traditional non-stop begonia. Dark mahogany foliage with contrasting emerald green veining provides a dramatic contrast to the soft lemon yellow 1.5- to 2-inch diameter blooms that blush apple blossom pink in high light. This easy-care beauty is ideal for mixed pots and containers, hanging baskets or the summer border. For more information, visit PlantHaven.com

Read More
Petunia 'Flash Mob Bluerific' Burpee Home Gardens

October 7, 2013

18 New Petunias To Add For 2014

Tried and true, petunias are a garden staple. Here are some new introductions breeders are rolling out for your consideration in 2014.  

Read More
Verbena 'Hurricane Hot Pink' from Westflowers

October 7, 2013

New Verbena For 2014

Check out these eight new verbena varieties and consider them for your 2014 greenhouse production.  

Read More
Dahlia Dalaya Shari from Selecta

September 25, 2013

4 New Dahlias For Your 2014 Season

Looking for new dahlia varieties to incorporate in your crop mix? Here are 4 beauties your customers will love.  

Read More
'Wall Street' Coleus from Dummen/Red Fox

September 25, 2013

4 Colorful New Coleus For 2014

Gorgeous foliage makes these new introductions must-haves for next year.  

Read More

September 16, 2013

9 Geraniums For Your 2014 Spring Season

Check out these 9 new introductions featured in Greenhouse Grower's 2013 New Varieties Guide to consider for your spring production.

Read More