Saturday, July 12, 2008

Back And Forth On Begonias

Thousands of begonias are grown and sold each year at Peach Tree Farm in Kintnersville, Pa., where owner Lloyd Traven’s production is down to an exact science – even for new varieties like ‘Mandalay’ and ‘Bellagio.’

Without good cuttings at shipping, ‘Mandalay’ and ‘Bellagio’ will simply grow to 6 feet tall without flowering, he says. Pinching those varieties immediately after the third node is critical to flowering, as well.

“This is a tough crop,” Traven says. “If you can produce them, you will not be able to keep them in the greenhouse.”

Traven has also found that begonias require special care before they’re shipped off. He recommends giving them a little bit of extra nitrogen before packaging them and, of course, keep them well watered.

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