Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greenhouse and Nursery - Use of Florel on Garden Mums

As garden mums start to arrive at greenhouses, growers may consider using Florel to replace hand or mechanical pinching. The following information from Rick Yates, Griffin Greenhouse and Nursery Supplies Inc. provides some good details on using Florel.

Florel can be used to replace mechanical pinching when applied as a thorough foliar spray at 500 PPM (1.6 oz./gal.). Typically this is done one week before you would hand pinch. Even though your cell pack mums are pinched when you receive them, they will benefit from an application of Florel applied as soon as possible after they arrive. While this initial spray to pinched cuttings does not increase branching, it does reduce premature budding by getting the plants under the influence of Florel as early as possible. Repeated at two week intervals, Florel helps to keep plants vegetative as well as providing more breaks per plant when compared to hand pinching.

Florel also reduces internode elongation, reducing or eliminating the need for other growth regulators later in the season. Labor savings are significant and greatly appreciated! Using more than 1 pinch and 2 Florel treatments (counting the one applied when you received the pinched cuttings) is not usually desirable. So many branches are produced that stem strength is reduced and the plants may pull apart at flowering.

Most growers report great results from one application upon arrival, and one more 14 days later. You can also time your crop with Florel, since it delays flowering. Make your last Florel application before July 1st to avoid delaying the natural season flower date. CAUTION: Highly alkaline water may need to be treated in order for Florel to be effective. When Florel is added to your spray tank it must be able to drop the pH of that solution to between 4.0 and 5.0 to work properly. Distilled or acidified water may be needed in some cases. Use an acidifier to adjust the pH of the spray water to between 5.5 and 6.0 before adding the Florel to allow the final solution to be in the correct range.

Sample Program (normal season flowering)

Pinched cuttings arrive about June 10th and are sprayed upon arrival with Florel @ 500 ppm

Two days later (allows for 48 hr REI for Florel) cuttings are potted into 8 x 5 or 9 x 6 mum pans.

Reapply Florel @ 500 ppm two weeks after the first treatment (~ June 24th)

Information from the Fact Sheet: "Garden Mums from Cell Packs" by Rick Yates, Griffin Greenhouse and Nursery Supplies, Inc.

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