Cultivation and defense



Buy Cyclamen

Cyclamen - Suggestions for the cultivation

Suggestions for the correct cultivation of the Cyclamen

After potting, it is important to know the parameters of the greenhouse: the level of light (shade), ventilation conditions and temperature. These will be the factors that will mainly characterize the growth of the cyclamen.
For example, low ventilation and a lot of shade (to contrast high summer temperatures) will provoke vigorous plant growth, facilitating the lengthening of the peduncles, and the enlargement of the leaves. This type of development is more frequent in big-sized greenhouses in which the circulation of the air is scarce and where, to lower high temperatures, thermal tarps or shades that are too dark are used, favouring the onset of a heavy macroclimate. In single or multiple (maximum 2 trusses) tunnels with lateral windows, as a result of good air exchange and in the presence of good lighting (50 K.lux), it is unlikely that this type of growth will take place.
Immediately after potting, it is important to irrigate the small plants and substrate properly so that the water reaches every part of the soil. In the event of high temperatures, it is best to have good lighting (50 K.lux) and advisable to let the plants dry, at least the part of the substrate that is exposed: this will favour the airing of the roots, their protection and their better development. This will also help avoid water-logging. As a matter of fact, in high temperatures, the oxygen contained in the nutrient solution is insufficient and through the partial drying of the substrate and the resulting oxygenation, there will be the development of a better root system.

Spacing

In the cultivation of the cyclamen, spacing is an operation that is not often considered important. In our opinion, however, it is to be considered one of the most delicate steps because it can have an important influence on the growth habit.
There are two spacing methods:
The traditional method involves a light spacing 4 to 5 weeks after potting when the leaves of the plants placed side by side start to touch; the amount of space between pots is based on the diameter of the vases and depending on maintaining the microclimate (taking advantage of the shade created by the foliage and by the pot, the soil remains cooler and the roots can grow in almost optimal conditions).
One must bear in mind that the main spacing of the cyclamen, precisely because of its production cycle, takes place in summer with daytime temperatures above 30°C. Subsequent spacing takes place with the same criteria, but in a timely manner. In this case, delays are not permitted because if the competing plants start to stretch, they grow very quickly and become weak. The lack of microclimate due to the spacing, in addition to a higher substrate temperature, will lead to a stressful condition for the plant damaging the root system.
It is clear that the above-mentioned method requires careful control and numerous and timely interventions.
In some production situations, this type of operation is not possible. The high number of plants or, for example, the drip irrigation system (certainly valid, but not flexible) and high labour costs force the flower grower to simplify this operation.
The second type of spacing starts 3 to 4 weeks after potting, from plants placed next to each other with good lighting so as to obtain strong leaves and short stems.
In this case the plants will be arranged definitively or almost, taking into account the plants must be spaced before the leaves reach the edge of the pot.
The plants will have a compact leaf apparatus (a microclimate must not develop) and therefore will not suffer any stress even if space widely. Normally, plants of this size have a small-sized root system which will be able to grow and adapt to its new setting without being damaged. The growth will seem slow because the plants will form many small leaves, but then the foliage will take on a pleasant, spherical and robust shape.
To use this cultivation system, uniform irrigation is necessary. In this case, drip, canal and ebb and flow irrigation are ideal.

Use of Growth Retardant on Cyclamens and Fertilization

The main thing to do is put the plants in bright greenhouses and to space them in a timely manner; in fact, the plant mustn’t stretch. This is the only, with the help of growth inhibitors, in which a compact plant is possible.
After the first month of cultivation, when the foliage has developed and reached the edge of the pot, and in any case, before the plant leaves touch each other and immediately before or right after the spacing, treat with Alar at 300 g/hl (a light nebulisation on the leaves will suffice).
In the meantime, when the root hairs appear on the outside of the root ball, start fertigation. A salinity level comprised between 350 and 500 microS is to be maintained in the soil. For the fertilization, 1.5-2 g/lt of fertilizer must be used weekly; this amount is to be divided into several irrigations (for example, 3-4 interventions at a dose of 0.5 grams/litre).
During the first phase of fertilization, it’s best to fertilize using NK (1:2) fertilizer. Then, between the 10th and 11th week after potting, one should use an NK fertilizer with a ratio of 1:3/1:4, always maintaining the same electric conductivity in the soil. (It is possible to fertilize with fertilizers with a 1:3/1:4 ratio already at the 3rd week after potting). If the root system is weak or brown, one must reduce or interrupt fertilization (frequent symptoms during the summer).
For the entire second month of cultivation, carry out 3 treatments with Alar at 300/g/hl (practically every 10 days), checking the effect obtained from the previous treatment before each subsequent one, increasing the dose up to 400-500 g/hl or the frequency of the treatments if the effects desired have not been reached; vice versa, diminish the frequency in the event of growth retardation. Tilt at 40g/hl can also be used, but it has greater retardant effect than Alar so it must be used with care.
Initially, the effect might be unperceivable; later, the leaves will have a brighter and darker colour and the foliage will become spherical and compact. All the plants will be uniform and compact.
At the end of the second month of cultivation, these early maturing plants will bloom (in this phase some buds are present). At the this point the grower will decide whether to continue the inhibiting treatments or not based even on the size of the plant desired, the blooming stage, etc. (If necessary, Tilt can also be used on cyclamens in bloom).
It is important to remember that inhibitors do not solve cultivation problems. For example, plants which are too flaccid, stretched because too close to each other or for little lighting, too much nitrogen, etc. Moreover, if the crop is already very compact and not very strong because of the environmental conditions, it is useless or damaging to use these products.


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Buy Begonia Elatior

Begonia Elatior - Suggestions for the cultivation

The Young Plants

The correct cultivation of the Stock Plant and Cutting plays a primary role towards the end result. More than in every other plant, the strength, temperature, quantity of artificial light radiated on the SP before and on the Cuttings afterwards are parameters that make the difference.

 

Substrate

A mix of lightly fibrous, medium-sized particle, blond and brown peats (black peat is not recommended) with the addition of 15% Perlite and 40 kg of Clay per m3 constitute the ideal topsoil.
The pH must be between 5.5 and 6 and the nutrients must be equal to 1 kg of PG Mix-type fertilizer per m3.

 

Conditions and Place of Cultivation

The Cuttings are normally potted in Ø 12-14 pots. Ø 18-20 pots can also be used with 3 Cuttings. Cultivation on benches with sub-irrigation or ebb and flow is recommended.
During the first 4-5 weeks the pots are placed next to each other and then they are thinned out at a density of 20-25 plants per m2 for the Ø 12 pots and of 16-18 plants per m2 for the Ø 14 pots.
The Begonia require a warm and slightly shaded environment with cultivation temperatures between 18 and 19°C, 50-70% shade and a 30 k.lux lighting level.
The opening of the windows or the ventilation must be light and progressive. It is important to maintain a warm and moderately humid macroclimate in the greenhouse. On the contrary, conditions of high ventilation, low temperatures, high lighting and the drying of the clods harden and compact the plants thus anticipating the blooming stage.
It is better to lower the temperature to 16°C and increase the ventilation only during the blooming stage so as to obtain more robust plants with stronger-coloured flowers.

 

Cultivation

Irrigate the plants well after potting and continue the cultivation without allowing the substrate do dry out.
Make sure the irrigation water is of the same temperature as the substrate and, if possible, irrigate by sub-irrigation (in any case without wetting the leaves).
Spread out the plants making sure the microclimate is maintained (during this phase, the plants can be helped by shading more and keeping the RH slightly higher through sprinklers, etc.)
Normally after 3-4 weeks of cultivation, the fertigation is started. It can be carried out at every irrigation with a balanced fertilizer (ex. a 20-20-20 or an 18-18-18) at the dose of 1 g/lt, maximum 2 g/lt, depending on the frequency of the interventions.
If hard water is used, it is best that the nitrogen portion of the fertilizer is largely ammoniated (up to 60%); in any case, with soft water, we suggest the presence of an ammoniated part of 25-30%. The action of the nitrogen in this form, thanks to the transformations that take place to make it available to the plant, stabilizes the pH, thus improving the absorption of the microelements and keeping the plants healthier.
With regards to salinity, the Begonia is a tolerant plant; EC levels equal to 1000 μS can be reached in the topsoil. However, when the flower buds appear, the fertilization should be reduced and the fertilizer is to be substituted with one suitable for the blooming stage with a ratio of N:K 1:3.
During the hot months, we suggest more control of the salinity. Very often in the season, abundant and frequent fertigations can raise the level of the salt beyond measure thus provoking a lower pH with possible burning of the leaves.

 

Plant Growth Regulators

During high density cultivation and on stronger cultivars, we suggest, if necessary, growth regulation with Cycocel at a dosage of 200 g/hl, lightly spraying it on the leaves, even only the areas of major growth, thus trying to make the plant more uniform.
Treatments are not normally necessary during the winter, whereas they can be done every 15 days and, in some cases, in late Spring even every week.
If it is necessary to retard the Begonia during blooming, Cycocel cannot be used because it burns the flowers; in this case, up to 40 g/hl of Tilt can be used.

 

Photoperiod and Blooming

The Begonia is a short-day plant and flower induction takes place when the day is shorter than 14 hours or after a certain number of internodes (3-4).
For this reason, during the winter, the plants must be artificially lit with assimilation lighting (2500 lux/m2), simple lamps or Neon (15 watt/m2) from September through all of March.
Lighting is carried out for the first 2-4 weeks, lengthening the day up to 16-18 hours, in this stage the short day is obtained by simple turning the lights off.
In this period, to obtain a day longer than 16 hours, one can intervene in two ways: the first consists simply of prolonging the day beyond sunset, or anticipating sunrise by making sure that the total amount of hours of artificial light plus those of natural light are more than 16 hours in total.
The other method consists of interrupting the night by lighting from 9-10 pm to 2-3 am for example, thus obtaining two short nights, at sunset and at sunrise, which are not added by the plant.
From April to August (natural long day), the plants can be shaded for 16 hours a day for 2 weeks, for example: from 6 pm to 10 am the day after, naturally this can happen after the 2-4 weeks of long days.
In this season it is possible to cultivate even without shading; in fact, the modern Begonia varieties tend to bloom rather easily after the formation of some internodes. Only in very hot conditions can the blooming be retarded or insufficient.


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Buy Calceolaria

Calceolaria - Suggestions for the cultivation

Calceolaria is cultivated for about 9-12 weeks. It is potted in well-drained soil at a pH of 5.5-6.
During cultivation, an EC of about 500 microS is to be maintained on the substrate. During the first weeks of cultivation, a balanced fertilizer can be used to then pass to a ration of N:K 1:3, more suitable for blooming.

Immediately after potting, the plants can be put cultivated at 15-18°C, subsequently the temperature can be lowered. Calceolaria is neutral-day plant, the flower induction is influenced by the night-time temperature which must be 11-14°C.

Tilt 40 g/hl can be used as a growth regulator.


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Buy Cineraria

Cineraria - Suggestions for the cultivation

Cineraria needs about 10-12 weeks from potting to blooming. The Napoli variety does not need a vernalisation period for the flower induction and needs 10-12 weeks for blooming. The other varieties need a vernalisation period. The Angel variety blooms in 12-14 weeks, while the Moll and Starwars mature late.


A substrate with pH between 5.5 and 6 and well drained should be used.
After potting, keep the plants at 14-16°C for about 2 weeks to get root development started, then the vernalisation period, which will last from 4 to 5 weeks, takes place at which time the temperature must be lowered to 7-10°C to favour flower induction (Napoli does not require vernalisation).


After 5 weeks, the temperature can be raised again to 13-15°C to terminate cultivation.
The plants mustn’t be wet too much to avoid root rot. At the beginning of cultivation, a vegetative/balanced fertilizer can be used to then pass to a fertilizer with a ratio of N:K 1:3 for the blooming. An EC of about 500 microS must be maintained on the topsoil.
Tilt 40-50 g/hl can be used as a growth regulator.


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Buy Chrysantemum

Chrysantemum - Suggestions for the cultivation

The chrysanthemum is a short-day plant and flower induction takes place when the day lasts less than 12 hours, more or less.


The cultivation of the chrysanthemum in Italy usually takes place with a natural short day without programming the blooming through shading, thus obtaining bloomed plants between week 38-39 (the early maturing varieties: Settembrini) and week 43 (All Saints’ Day).
Use a draining topsoil with pH 5.5-6.5 for potting.
Immediately after potting, treat with Aliette 200 g/hl or Pit Stop 200 g/hl + Enovit Metil 80 g/hl to protect the roots of the plants that have just been potted.


In geographical areas with very hot summers, chrysanthemums can suffer from root rot due to thermal stress. For this reason, we suggest not using black pots and potting plants as late as possible (no later than week 28-30) so that, during the summer, the plants will still be vegetative and not have a root system that is too developed which could be affected by high temperatures. To avoid this problem, we also suggest using bigger pots so that the roots have more space and fill the clots as late as possible.
Sentier’s Multiflora variety does not need to be cropped and do not have particular needs; the only thing to take into account is to plant them slightly deeper in the pot to facilitate root development even from the base of the newly formed branches.
Only the traditional chrysanthemum (ball flower) needs to be cropped after 10-15 days from potting and as soon as the plants have been rooted. Then, treat them with Rovral Plus 150 g/hl to avoid rot and heal the wounds.
Between the end of the 3rd and 4th week after potting, carry out the second cropping and, if necessary, only the stronger varieties, a third cropping between the 6th and 8th week.
An any case, the last cropping should not be done after weeks 30-32 if the exact reaction time of the plant is not known.


During cultivation, it will be necessary to intervene with growth regulators to keep the plants compact; Alar Gold 500 g/ho or Tilt 70-80 g/hl can be used.
The chrysanthemum is a very demanding plant from a nutritional point of view. During the first part of cultivation, use a balanced fertilizer (18-10-18) trying to keep the topsoil with an EC of 500-800 microS (analysis ration 1:1.5). Subsequently, towards mid-September use a fertilizer for the blooming with a ratio of N:K 1:2-1:3.The chrysanthemum is a short-day plant and flower induction takes place when the day lasts less than 12 hours, more or less.
The cultivation of the chrysanthemum in Italy usually takes place with a natural short day without programming the blooming through shading, thus obtaining bloomed plants between week 38-39 (the early maturing varieties: Settembrini) and week 43 (All Saints’ Day).
Use a draining topsoil with pH 5.5-6.5 for potting.


Immediately after potting, treat with Aliette 200 g/hl or Pit Stop 200 g/hl + Enovit Metil 80 g/hl to protect the roots of the plants that have just been potted.
In geographical areas with very hot summers, chrysanthemums can suffer from root rot due to thermal stress. For this reason, we suggest not using black pots and potting plants as late as possible (no later than week 28-30) so that, during the summer, the plants will still be vegetative and not have a root system that is too developed which could be affected by high temperatures. To avoid this problem, we also suggest using bigger pots so that the roots have more space and fill the clots as late as possible.
Sentier’s Multiflora variety does not need to be cropped and do not have particular needs; the only thing to take into account is to plant them slightly deeper in the pot to facilitate root development even from the base of the newly formed branches.
Only the traditional chrysanthemum (ball flower) needs to be cropped after 10-15 days from potting and as soon as the plants have been rooted. Then, treat them with Rovral Plus 150 g/hl to avoid rot and heal the wounds.
Between the end of the 3rd and 4th week after potting, carry out the second cropping and, if necessary, only the stronger varieties, a third cropping between the 6th and 8th week.
An any case, the last cropping should not be done after weeks 30-32 if the exact reaction time of the plant is not known.


During cultivation, it will be necessary to intervene with growth regulators to keep the plants compact; Alar Gold 500 g/ho or Tilt 70-80 g/hl can be used.
The chrysanthemum is a very demanding plant from a nutritional point of view. During the first part of cultivation, use a balanced fertilizer (18-10-18) trying to keep the topsoil with an EC of 500-800 microS (analysis ration 1:1.5). Subsequently, towards mid-September use a fertilizer for the blooming with a ratio of N:K 1:2-1:3.

 

Parasites:


Aphids: treat with Confidor 200sl 80 g/hl
Thrips: the affected leaves and flowers deform and crumple up and small wounds caused by punctures made by insects can be seen. Treat with Laser 25 g/hl, Glorial Jet 80 g/hl, Lannate 200 g/hl.
Webworms: the leaves are chewed by the larvae. They can also be found on or inside the stalks.
The damage is more evident at the end of summer, early autumn.
Treat with Laser 25 g/hl, Glorial Jet 80 g/hl, Lannate 200 g/hl and Bacillus turingensis-based products.
Defoliator larvae: leaves and flowers are eroded by small, green-coloured larvae. Treat with Laser 25 g/hl, Glorial Jet 80 g/hl, Lannte 200 g/hl and Bacillus turingensis-based products
Acarus: numerous lesions can be seen on the surface of the leaf and the leaf blade takes on a green-grey colour. The buds are infested at the moment they open and are malformed. The infestation develops more rapidly above all in hot periods when the duration of the reproductive cycle passes from 36 to 17 days.
Treat with Nexter 100 g/hl and Magister 75 g/hl.

 

Diseases:


Alternaria: brown, necrotic spots surrounded by yellow rings can appear on the leaves. Treat with Signum 100 g/hl or Folio 200 g/hl.
White Rot: a white, powdery efflorescence develops on leaves and stalks. Intervene with sulphur-based products or with Signum 100 g/hl.
Rust: on both surfaces of the leaves 2-5 mm chlorotic spots develop on which brown and powdery pustules. The tissues turn black and necrotize. The infection can occur with temperatures between 6 and 31°C.
Treat with Pomarsol 80wg 125 g/hl.
Botrytis: small, brown spots develop on the flowers and leaves; they extend to the entire organ. Treat with Rovral Plus 150 g/hl.
Root Rot (Pythium): the plants wilt and turn yellow, the root system is reduced and hit by brown rot which necrotizes the tissue and can extend to the collar. It develops in conditions of elevated temperatures and humidity. Treat with Ridomil Gold sl 20 g/hl, Aliette 200 g/hl and Pit Stop 200 g/hl.
Collar Rot (Phytophthora): during hot periods, in the presence of excessive irrigation or water stagnation, there is dark rot on the roots, collar and the base of the stalk. The symptoms usually appear in September-October. Treat with Ridomil Gold sl 20 g/hl, Aliette 200 g/hl and Pit Stop 200 g/hl.


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Buy Dahlia

Dahlia - Suggestions for the cultivation

To have Dahlia ready to bloom in spring, the potting time can vary from January to April. The cultivation of the pot varies from 8-9 weeks in the winter and 6-7 weeks in the more favourable season.

 

Substrate

The topsoil used must be of the draining type with a pH between 5.7 and 6.3 (blond peat, perlite and coconut fibre) to avoid water stagnation which can cause root and collar diseases.

Conditions and Place of Cultivation
The vegetative growth of the plant, the formation of lateral shoots and buds are favoured by a long photoperiod with days that are at least 14 hours long, obtained by prolonging the day or interrupting the night.
In general conditions of low lighting, the production of lateral buds is reduced and therefore even blooming is scarce.
In short-day conditions, with days lasting less than 12 hours, the formation of the bulb can occur, therefore not sufficiently developing the aerial part with anticipated blooming.
Cultivation temperatures during the day must be between 16-18°C and around 16°C at night.

 

Fertilization

The plants must be properly irrigated and fertilized trying not to leave the vegetative part of the plant wet for too long; this could cause a disease outbreak.
After the plants have taken root in the pot, it is possible to intervene with vegetative fertilizers N:K 1:1 and then pass to fertilizers with a ratio of N:K 1:3 close to the blooming stage.
Be careful of a possible iron deficiency; if so, it is best to carry out additional fertilizations with iron 2g/l.
During the cultivation, before the spacing, we suggest carrying out two calcium-based fertilizations to avoid the annoying necrotic edges of the basal leaves.

 

Cropping/Spacing

Two weeks after potting, Dahlia must be cropped to allow for better tillering of the plants, especially in the low-lit season.
During spring, in well-lit greenhouses, it is possible to cultivate Dahlias even without cropping.
5-6 weeks after potting, the plants are usually ready for spacing (16-18 plants/m2).
Dahlias are quite sensitive to growth retardants, so if necessary, we suggest intervening with Alar 300-400 g/hl, making sure not to exaggerate to avoid stunting the plants, and not to retard growth just before blooming so as not to reduce the size of the flowers.


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Buy Gerbera Jamesonii

Gerbera Jamesonii - Suggestions for the cultivation

Cultivation


For potted plants, the cultivation varies from 8 to 11 weeks (which means from transplanting to selling) which depend on the period of the year and cultivation techniques used.
Pot our Gerberas in slightly fertilized soil (1000 gr/m2 of fertilizer) with course blond peat, to which 15/20% Perlite and 3-4% clay have been added.
A substrate used for cyclamens usually works.
The plants must be transplanted in pots with a diameter between 10 and 14 cm based on the size one wants to obtain and the period of programmed blooming. The cultivation temperatures must be around 16-18°C up to when the plants are well-rooted, then they can be lowered to 14-16°C.


In conditions of good lighting, it is possible to cultivate gerberas with minimal night-time temperatures around 10-12°C; the cultivation will last longer (12 weeks), but the quality could be even better (fuller and more compact plants). The young leaves with white discolouration are the sign of an inadequate temperature of the substrate.
In winter, keep the cultivation lit well with a shading intervention threshold of 40 K.lux, a 50% shading net is sufficient.
Irrigate the plants copiously, letting them dry slightly between one intervention and the next so that the roots can be ventilated well. Do not spray the plants in vain (at the first sign of asphyxia, the gerbera tends to deform the top leaves, giving way to signs that are often mistaken for insect attacks).


1-2 weeks after potting, help the vegetative recovery with 1-2 fertigation interventions with calcium nitrate (1.5 g/lt) and at the first sign of root hairs along the edge of the pot, start fertilization of fertilizer type 15-5-30 at 2 g/lt every week.
To obtain particularly green leaves, we suggest a few interventions with 18-18-18 (2 g/lt) because the nitrogen portion in these types of fertilizers is rich in ammonium and urea, elements that operate through the leaves and contribute to the acidification of the substrate through nitrification, thus facilitating the absorption of the microelements.


The plants must be spaced at the right time (after 4-6 weeks) and to obtain a more compact look, growth regulators like Alar 150-200 g/hl can be used, finely sprayed over the leaves.
Warning: gerberas are quite sensitive to inhibitors, therefore only a few interventions are necessary.
The flower buds are visible after 8 weeks and the minimum and maximum temperatures can be lowered to 14-16°C.
Decrease fertigation to 1 g/lt per week using fertilizers for blooming with a ratio of N:K 1:3.


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Buy Primula acaulis/elatior

Primula acaulis/elatior - Suggestions for the cultivation

Some cultivation suggestions for Primula Acaulis


Potting period

The small plants are potted (normally in Ø 10 pots) from mid-September to early-October. It is possible to pot later, more easily done in the southern regions of Italy, as long as a well-shaped and robust plant can be obtained before the temperatures decrease in winter.

 

Conditions and Place of Cultivation

Normally the plants are cultivated pot against pot in special containers for a few weeks (4-6), then final spacing is done. The final cultivation density of the primula is quite variable. Based on the flower growers needs, the cultivations can be from 25 to 45 plants per m2, sometimes even more. Naturally, the higher the density, the greater attention must be paid to irrigation, fertigation, the use of retardants, the possibility to cultivate with maximum lighting and low temperatures.

 

Substrate

The primula is sensitive to dry spells (the leaves turn yellow) which means that the substrate of the plants must constantly be kept humid. This condition requires a soil which holds the water well, but that drains well also to avoid stagnation.
A substrate with averagely-coarse blond peat, 15% Perlite and 4-6% clay in granules could be, in our opinion, an excellent compromise.

 

Optimal cultivation conditions

When potting and until October, in southern Italy, the primulas must be shaded with 50 to 70% shading nets based on the latitude and the structure in which they are. A good light-temperature balance is important for a compact growth right from the beginning.
To obtain round, tillered plant with a good number of short and compact leaves with a tuft of big, robust flowers, it is necessary to cultivate in a highly ventilated environment (in the presence of high RH the leaves become soft, thin and extended).
When winter approaches, in this regard, it will be harder to maintain low humidity (especially during the night) so irrigate early in the morning favouring all the methods possible (even through the use of fans) to dry the plant and surfaces in the least amount of time possible. Open the greenhouses during the day even with temperatures near 0°C. Our varieties, cultivated as described, can live at very low minimum temperatures (3-5°C) during the entire winter, obtaining an enviable compactness and, above all, enormous and long-lasting flowers on short stalks.
Relatively high average temperatures 8-12°C, in conditions of low ventilation, can soften the plants making the sensitive to attacks of: Botrytis, Ramularia and bacteriosis. They will cause the opening of small, weak flowers.

 

Plant Growth Regulators

When environmental conditions aren’t optimal, good results can be obtained with the help of plant growth regulators, treating the plants when the leaves reach the edge of the pot with Tilt 20-40 g/hl and carefully controlling the effect of the treatments; in fact, the effects of the treatments will be obvious when the leaves take on a bright and darker colour.
The methods of use for plant growth regulators are: fine spray (50-100 cc/m2 of solution, executing the treatments early in the morning and we suggest afternoon treatments only if the plants dry out before the night).
Finally, we advise against spring treatments to avoid unpleasant interactions on the blooming.

 

Blooming

Generally, the primula is not easily programmable through different planting periods. Normally, the small plants potted before will not bloom faster with respect to others planted later. However, the size of the vegetation will be greater in the first one. Good programming with regards to the blooming can be achieved using varieties with different maturities:

  • from the end of December to January for the early-maturing varieties,
  • from January to February for mid-maturing varieties,
  • and up to March for the later-maturing varieties.

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Buy Ranunculus/Anemone

Ranunculus/Anemone - Suggestions for the cultivation

Notes on the cultivation of potted Ranunculi


Conditions and Place of Cultivation

The secret to obtaining beautiful Ranunculi is in the cultivation: cold, aerates and bright. The greenhouses where the plants will be cultivated must be bright (clean film in good conditions), all the windows must have the possibility of always being kept open, there must be a simple place where it is easy to carry out uniform irrigations; these conditions of brightness and low temperatures will help produce bigger flowers with more intense colours.

 

Potting and substrate

Pot the small, single plants in Ø 10-11 pots. For the cultivation in bigger containers (Ø 12-14 pots) and bowls, we suggest use 2-3 small plants.
A well-draining substrate must be used to avoid water stagnation, an important factor especially in cold season when it will be harder for the substrate to dry.

 

Optimal Cultivation Conditions

Keep the plants an environment that is always open, close the windows only at night when the temperatures can decidedly go below zero.
Situations of high environmental humidity must absolutely be avoided so irrigate abundantly, early in the morning.
For the first 2 weeks after potting, the plants must be kept at 12-14°C, then, when the plants have taken root, the temperature is to be lowered to 3-8°C.
When the roots will have reached the edge of the pot, add a low nitrogen content fertilizer to the irrigation.
Ranunculi do not tolerate salinity, especially if the plants dry up, but, at the same time, they are very demanding and, in the beginning, the plants must be very vegetative.

 

Plant Growth Regulators

In conditions of mild temperatures (8-12° minimum), even keeping the greenhouse constantly open, the plants normally tend to produce a soft vegetation with long leaves.
In this case, it is important to intervene immediately with repeated, weekly, growth retardant treatments, Alar 300-500 g/hl or Tilt 15-20 g/hl.
With medium-low temperatures, growth control becomes easier and the growth control regulators can be used only to obtain rounder and more compact plants.

 

Blooming

As with the primula, the potting period does not influence the blooming of ranunculus; it blooms when the days start getting longer, between late February and early March.
Growth regulators have an important role on ranunculi during the blooming phase, above all if spring starts with mild and sunny days.
In said conditions, the plant with already formed buds tend to extend the floral stalks, compromising their aspect and stability.


After the formation of the flower buds, always treat with Alar or Tilt weekly, at least until they do not show any colour. Interrupting these treatments too soon will nullify the effects. In fact, the ranunculus flower continues to grow until the bud is closed. In this way, along the stalk (which will naturally grow to 20 cm giving way to 2, small, useless, lateral buds), the internode which is different must remain at the centre of the vegetation and produce new, strong, flower shoots.


The plants cultivated with this method, will be round and compact with strong, beautiful flowers.


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Buy Viola

Viola - Suggestions for the cultivation

In the past PANSIES were used only for spring blooming with different results seeing the relative resistance of the old varieties to high temperatures.
Today, continuous genetic improvements allow these beautiful flowers to be kept outside from September to May.


This possibility has increased its market, production and research boost by increasing the continuous development of new varieties which also interests the VIOLA CORNUTA, whose cultivation we think will increase in the future.

 

Substrate

The cultivation of the potted violet from transplanting to blooming lasts 5-7 weeks. A draining topsoil with a pH of 5.5-5.8 is needed for potting.

 

Cultivation

For the first 10 days of cultivation, keep the plants at 14°C to allow for rooting in the pot, then the temperature can be lowered to 10°C.
The plants can be irrigated with fertilizer for blooming with a ratio of N:K 1:3, maintaining about 400-500 microS on the topsoil.
To maintain the plant compact, it is possible to intervene with Tilt 30-40 g/hl.


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Buy Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria - Suggestions for the cultivation

In Italian cultivation conditions, the plants must be potted in autumn from late September up to November in the central-southern areas. Taking advantage of the still good autumn weather, the alstroemeria will grow well in a cold greenhouse and produce foliage that will cover the pot, before the cold comes.


The well-rooted plant with well-developed foliage can pass the winter in bright and well-ventilated (up to a temperature of 8°C) greenhouses. Lower or below zero temperatures can damage or destroy the leaves, but if the rhizome does not freeze, the plant will vegetate in spring. A cold period between 5 and 14°C is necessary to induce blooming. To obtain compact plants and abundant blooming, it is sufficient to for the plants with 16-18°C during the day and maintaining 8-12° during the night, temperatures that are easily obtainable in cold greenhouses in Italy.


To cultivate alstroemeria one needs a well-draining, potting topsoil with a pH between 5-6, an EC of 0.6-1.0 mS and about 600-1000 grams of fertilizer per cubic metre. Initially, the plants must be placed beside each other to then be spaced at density of 8-10 plants/m2.

 

Potting week

Vernalisation
Cold greenhouse –
Min. temp. 6-10°C

Naturally forced or in the greenhouse over 14°C

Total cultivation time

Northern Italy

38-40 46-08 09 - 18/19 32

Central

40-42 47-06 07 - 16/17 28

South & Islands

42-46 48-04 05 - 14/16 24

 


Alstroemeria produces dense foliage very quickly therefore it needs adequate Nitrogen and Potassium intakes while trying to maintain and EC around 100 microS and a pH of 5.6 in the topsoil, intervening even with Fe and Mg-based products to avoid deficiencies. During the winter, fertilize with a low nitrogen concentration (N-K 1:4 + Mg) to maintain the vegetation compact. From February to March or when the nice weather starts, use a balanced fertilizer con Calcium and Magnesium.

After potting our autumn temperatures will still permit excellent development of the rhizome. 3-4 weeks after potting, with the naturally lower temperatures, or setting it at 9-12°C by and 8-10°C by night, growth will be slower, but the low temperatures will have a beneficial effect on the cultivation, like a longer blooming period, an increase in floral stalks and a decrease in “blind” apexes.


Alstroemeria is a long-day plant. This means the longer the day, the faster the buds develop and greater the number of stalks.

  1. More than 14 hours of light means a reduction in the number of flowers in the flower clusters
  2. 13-14 hours of light facilitates the formation of shoots
  3. Prolonging the hours of light means a reduction in “blind” apexes.

 

Diseases and Parasites

 

Botrytis: presents itself with brown spots on the leaves and buds. Defence: ventilate a lot to control the excess RH; avoid wetting the foliage and the formation of dew; wet with Rovral Plus 150 g/hl
Pythium: the roots become dark and rot. The vascular part of the rhizome remains intact, but the external cuticle rots. Defence: irrigate moderately and avoid heavy wetting fluctuations. Promptly eliminate the infected plants; irrigate regularly with solutions of Ridomil Gold sl 20 g/hl, Aliette 200 g/hl and Previter 200 g/hl
Rhizoctonia: the stalks rot just above the level of the topsoil, the rot proceeds and attacks the rhizome. The dormant plants or those that have just passed the dormancy phase, are the most vulnerable. Defence: wet with Rizolex 100 g/hl
Aphids: colonies of greenish or brown insects infest the young parts of the foliage and the upper part of the leaf; their feeding activity causes delays in growth and deformation. They are among the main vectors viral infections for Alstroemeria. Defence: as the first parasites appear, wet with Confidor sl 80 g/hl.
Lepidoptera larvae: the leaves and flowers show signs of tissue excision caused by green or brownish larvae with day and night-time feeding habits. Defence: intervene on the young larvae because they are more sensitive to pesticides; wet with Lannate 200 g/hl, Decis 80 g/hl, Laser 20 g/hl.


Thrips: the flowers are deformed, they have breakage in colour and they struggle to open; the leaves are deformed and show ridges and callosity on the superior edge. Defence: wet with Lannate 200 g/hl, Decis 80 g/hl, Laser 20 g/hl.
Alstroemeria Mosaic Virus: the virus presents itself with the appearance of light green blotches alternated with darker stains. Usually, it is found in association with other 2 viruses A. steak virus and A. carlavirus. This virus is transmitted by the sap through cuts or breakages or through aphids.


Alstroemeria Carlavirus: it does not present itself with any particular symptoms, but its main effect is the reduction in the duration of the flowers. It is transmitted by the sap through cuts or breakages or through aphids.
Cucumber Mosaic Virus: usually it is accompanied by A. mosaic virus and A. carlavirus. It can also be transmitted by the seed.
Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus: it presents itself with the appearance of concentric rings on the leaves, blackening and necrosis of the veining, leaf deformation, the stalks have repeated constrictions close to each other. The flowers, if present, are malformed, the plants have signs of stunted growth and the leaves tend to turn yellow and dry up. It is transmitted by thrips.

 

Alstroemeria Colorita is reproduced through in vitro meristem; in this way all the virus contaminations are excluded, at least at the reproduction material and Young Plant level.

 


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Buy Hydrangea in pot

Hydrangea in pot - Suggestions for the cultivation

Potted Hydrangea


The potted hydrangeas delivered after vernalisation were cultivated outdoors during the summer in full light. The main goal of said cultivation is to obtain plants with a good many strong, mature branches and, at the same time, as short as possible so as to avoid that, during forcing, the new vegetation which will develop from the flower spike grows to high, thus weakening the plant. Some plants, already compact due to genetic characteristics, after the falling of the leaves can have branches that seem to short. The production of the new vegetation from the base of the plants will give way to a stronger and more balanced foliage.


Our hydrangeas have been put vernalise in the dark with minimum temperatures near 0°C. This way, besides preparing the plants for forcing, the natural falling of leaves is stimulated. The plants, coming from vernalisation at low temperatures (conditions in which the development of fungi is hindered), are put in greenhouses for forcing at a humidity and temperatures that are decidedly favourable to their development.


On the aerial parts of the plants, the buds, wounds and plant residues, infections due to Botrytis can arise. Often, even aphid colonies, under incubation in the cold weather, will develop during the first forcing phase. The plants cannot, for any reason, be kept on the carts immediately after delivery. Parking them on shelves in a temperate environment and in the presence of normal relative humidity will stimulate the beginning of their photosynthetic activity, but, the lack of light and correct ventilation will facilitate rot on the still soft vegetation and at the base of the buds. For this reason, the plants must be treated preventively or immediately after planting them with an anti-botrytis fungicide like Rovral Plus 150 g/hl together with an aphicide like Confidor 200 sl 80 g/hl.


We suggest planting the plants in the greenhouse in full light from the beginning of the cultivation, especially in plastic-covered structures. We think a light shading is necessary only from March and at the brightest hours of the day, mainly in the southern regions. With this method, the branches will become strong, with short internodes and give the plant a balanced and robust shape without the use of stakes.


Hydrangea need to irrigated carefully and regularly. In the beginning in a limited way due to the small leaves, but always more abundantly in conjunction with growth. Hydrangeas cannot sustain vegetation wilting which causes burns and damage to the leaves.


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