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Growing Hiemalis Spectrum Begonias from Plant Pak
The Ecke rooted hiemalis begonia has been culture indexed to eliminate detrimental bacteria and fungi. They are propagated from a leaf section cutting, and then rooted. Our experience indicates that begonias from leaf cuttings are more vegetative, offer better basal branching and flower earlier and more uniformly than cuttings grown from tip cuttings.
Use a light, well-drained potting media that is high in peat. The pH should be adjusted to 4.9-5.5 and the soluble salts level should be maintained below 100 mhos 10-5.
To ensure a proper start, irrigate three times the day of potting, at hourly intervals. During the next three days, irrigate once daily.
Once the plants are established, use a constant feed program of 125-150 ppm N. All irrigations should be thorough (allow 10% drip through) to prevent soluble salts build-up which can damage the fine root system.
Plants perform well between 1500-2000 foot candles.
Hiemalis begonias require long days to promote vegetative growth. Use extended day length from mid-August to mid-May. This is accomplished by using 20 foot candles of light each night for 16 hours of continuous light, until plants reach 2/3 of desired height or 6 wks., then return to natural day length.
For effective height control, use Cycocel®, spray to a glisten, at a rate of 750-1500 ppm.
Day, night temperature of 68°F to 70°F (20° C to 21° C). Maintain temperature below 75°F (24°C) in the summer months.
Mildew is caused by the accumulation of free-water on the foliage. It is critical to ensure that the dew point is not reached in the greenhouse. Proper venting/heating should be used to maintain 80- 85% humidity.
4″ Pot 8-10 wks. – 1 cutting/pot; no pinch
6″ Pot 10-14 wks. – 2 cuttings/pot; soft pinch 10-14 days later
6″ Pot 10-12 wks. – 3 cuttings/pot; no pinch (specimen)
©Ecke Ranch 2011