Avoiding ethylene in the greenhouse: e-GRO Alert

March 05, 2015
Written by Dr. Neil S. Mattson, Cornell University
March 5, 2015 – Heater maintenance and proper ventilation will help you avoid this common spring problem.

What do the following grower observations have in common?

1. Geraniums in hanging baskets near a natural gas furnace had yellow lower leaves and flowers that did not fully open.

2. New Guinea impatiens in a double poly house did not come into  2015 Sponsors flower until June.

3. Fibrous begonias did not flower until several  weeks after their counterparts in a neighbouring  greenhouse.

4. On a cold night, tomatoes in a high tunnel were kept from freezing  with a portable ventless  propane heater. By morning, leaves on plants near the heater were bending  down and had yellow leaf edges.

The cause of all four problems was exposure to ethylene.

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