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Greater shelf life for bedding plants

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At this time of the year retailers of bedding plants despair to see plants wither at the point of sale due to lack of attention and water.

Now nurseries and plant raisers have found that with the use of a foliar fertiliser containing Silicon (Si) the plants ability to withstand stress is enhanced, improving visual appearance and shelf life. Tap water or substrate does not supply sufficient Si.

It is particularly noticeable in impatiens, pansy, petunia, snapdragon and poinsettia.

Silicon is absorbed by the roots and has the ability to increase the strength of the plants cell walls making it more upright whilst reducing the effects of heat stress.

David Howe of Solufeed said, “ Silicon deficiency is commonly found in plants grown in soil-less growing systems such as peat or coir and is a frequent cause of plants suffering stress at point of sale due to heat or lack of water.” It can be added to the irrigation water but is not compatible with other fertilisers in the stock tank and so would require a separate tank and injector. He therefore recommends a weekly root drench application of Solufeed Signal throughout the growing season. Signal is a water-soluble fertiliser containing silicon (Si) and potassium (K), which can be used as a drench at the rate of 5ml. (one teaspoon) of Signal in 15 litres of water. Drenching with Signal at this rate will help protect bedding plants from stress but,” he adds, “It is not a miracle cure for neglect.”

Further information is available from David Howe, david.howe@solufeed.com.

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