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Improve rooting of challenging petunia cultivars


March 13, 2013
By Roberto Lopez and Chris Currey Purdue University and Jason Fatten Ball Horticulture

March 13, 2013 — This week's E-Gro Alert newsletter is focused on improved rooting of challenging petunia cultivars.

March 13, 2013 — This week's E-Gro Alert newsletter is focused on improved rooting of challenging petunia cultivars.

Each year, as greenhouse growers, you are challenged with propagating and growing hundreds of new cultivars released by plant breeders.

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Over the past several years, growers across the U.S. have experienced challenges propagating and finishing a number of vegetatively propagated petunia cultivars, specifically cultivars with yellow flowers.
 
Cuttings of these cultivars often root well during Stages 1 and 2, but toward the end of rooting Stage 3 they lose vigor, turn yellow, develop necrotic (brown) shoot tips, and/or die.

Furthermore, during the finish stage (transplant) a small percentage (five to 10 per cent, sometimes more) of the plants appear stunted, have low vigour, and most often have to be removed from the combination planters or cell packs.

These unexpected problems pose significant losses for both greenhouse growers and breeding companies.

Observations in commercial greenhouses s t r o n g l y suggested nutrition during liner production could play a significant role in reducing the yellowing, necrosis and loss of vigor of these cultivars during propagation.

In order to investigate if this was indeed the case, research was conducted at Ball Horticulture Company in West Chicago, Illinois and at Purdue University through the support of the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation.

See the complete report at www.e-gro.org.


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