Spring Production Of Angel Earrings Fuchsia
Suntory’s Angel Earrings fuchsias offer heat tolerance, greater sun tolerance and a much higher flower count, expanding the possibilities for planting. The plants are also more compact and more controlled than most fuchsias, increasing production density and shelf life. The Preciosa, Dainty, Double Red and Mauve have upright habits that are ideal for patio pots, window boxes and as bedding plants. Traditional trailing varieties Cascading and Snowfire shine in hanging baskets. And the semi-trailing White offers the best of both worlds.
Rooted cuttings should be potted up as soon as possible into 4-inch to 10-inch pots. Use a well-drained peat/perlite mix with a pH of 6.0-6.5. After potting, rooted liners should receive a light watering in. The crop is best kept on the dry side to aid root development. Once roots are established, maintain moderately moist soil.
Slow-released fertilizer can be used. The crop should be watered uniformly throughout its life using a liquid nitrogen fertilizer at 200 ppm, changing to a higher potash feed as buds become clearly visible. After two weeks, plants will grow quickly and start to produce vigorous trailing shoots. These can be pinched to enable the plant to bush out and make a good breaking habit.
Pinching the crop is important to achieve a nice, compact breaking plant. Light and space also are important to achieve the required habit. If the cutting received a pinch at propagation and a further one is needed, it is best to pinch at four nodes.
The use of plant growth regulators (PGRs) is not necessary, but growers have achieved good results with daminozide and paclobutrazol. Various PGRs can be used to control internode elongation, including ancymidol and daminozide. Drenches of paclobutrazol or uniconazole can be used. DIF (the mathematical difference between day and night temperatures) will also control height.
Keep temperatures at 65-75ËšF during the day and 55-60ËšF at night.
Fuchsias are generally long-day plants and prefer moderate to low light. Plants are easily brought into flower by night interruption for two weeks. Levels should be moderate to low during production to help reduce stretching. Photoperiod management can induce earlier flowering by having daylight extension to 13 hours or using a four-hour night interruption before weeks 13/14 to promote flowering, especially if your daylength at that time of year is less than 13 hours.
• 4-inch pots finish in six to eight weeks with one liner and one pinch.
• 6-inch pots finish in seven to 10 weeks with one liner and two pinches.
• 10-inch pots finish in 10-12 weeks with three liners and two to three pinches.
Less pinching is required when plants are grown cool.
Pests & Diseases
Insects to monitor for include whiteflies, thrips, aphids, leaf miners, red spider mites, snails and slugs. Key diseases to prevent include Botrytis, Thielaviopsis, Powdery Mildew, Phytophthora and Pythium. Botrytis is more of an issue on finished flowers and foliage. Broad-spectrum fungicides are recommended to prevent and control diseases.