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Begonia Champagne™

Begonia Champagne™

Crop Culture Report:  Begonia Champagne

Recommended Containers:    10” to 12” Hanging Baskets

Crop Planning from Cell Pack (72 cell):  Plant liners with tips of Begonia pointing out to edge of plant and not inward.

Pot Size  Plants per Pot (pp)  Finish Time (weeks)

10” to 12” pot (25 – 30 cm)  3 to 4pp  12 to 14

Light Requirements: Maximum light levels for finishing are best at <3000 footcandles.   Plants require long days so they will not form tubers and to achieve adequate plant size. Assimilation lighting should be implemented at the rate of 3.5 watts/sq. ft., with a total day length of 14 to 16 hours until the end of mid-April (week 15 or16).

Temperature Requirements: 65° to 75°F (18° to 24°C) day / 65°F (18°C) nights for finish.  The temperature can be 4°F warmer for two weeks after transplant to establish plants.  Cooler temperatures will slow growth and increase time to finish.  Keep night temperatures above 62° F (17°C) during rapid growth period.  Once the plant is fully grown, temperatures can be reduced to 58°F (14°C) for toning.

Media and pH Requirements: Optimal pH is 5.8 – 6.5 and optimal media EC pf 0.7 – 1.0 mmhos – Water thoroughly and let soil dry slightly between irrigations maintaining a slight moisture level in soil.  Complete wilting of plants may damage or stunt growth. If over watered or plants kept in constantly wet conditions, the leaves will become yellow and too soft.

Fertilizer Requirements: EC of 0.6 to 0.9 is optimal – Use a balanced feed at 100 to 150 -PPM Nitrogen with a continuous feed program.  Clean water irrigation may be necessary to maintain lower salt levels for controlled growth and maximum flower production.

Pinching Requirements: Begonia Champagne™ should receive a soft pinch two weeks after transplanting and possibly 2 pinches total (three weeks later) for larger sized baskets/containers.  After pinching, 3 to 4 leaves/nodes should remain on stem for proper branching.

Growth Regulators:  Begonia Champagne™ grow to be large plants and should not require PGR applications.  The best growth regulator for Begonias is monitoring total water and fertilizer during rapid growth.  Extreme shade will create soft growth and stretch of stems.  Sprays of B-Nine (1500 – 2500 ppm) or A-Rest (2 – 5 ppm) can provide height control if required in warm growing temperatures.

Disease and Insect Pests:  Aphids, Fungus Gnats, Shoreflies and Whitefly (possibly Snail or Slugs).  Pythium: Drench regularly with preventative fungicides to control root disease problems.  Allowing soil to dry slightly is a natural form of disease prevention.

Botrytis/Powdery Mildew/Leaf Spot: Good air circulation and dry foliage is key to reducing the pressures of disease.  Preventive spray applications of fungicide are recommended during winters low light and cooler conditions. Extremely high light conditions and excessive drying will damage leaves opening the plant system to diseases. Water Begonias in the morning while light intensities are lower and leaves are not hot.

Comments: Excessive light will cause leaf cupping and dark bronzing (caused by dehydration of leaf margins).  These plants should always be in the shade or under filtered light to reduce stress.  Excessive water and fertilization will reduce flowering creating too much plant growth and an over abundance of leaves.