October 23, 2012 - 13:45

New for 2012, Arcada begonias are very floriferous and feature excellent branching and a compact hanging habit. Available in a full range of colors, foliage is dark green and attractive and is less prone to shipping damage.

Transplant rooted cuttings to a well-drained, sterile media. Plant one plant per 4-inch pot, one plant per 6-inch or gallon container, and three to four plants per 8- or 10-inch basket.

Establish warm and for four to six weeks at 75˚ F. Then reduce to 68 to 75˚ F days and 68 to 70˚ F nights. Optimum light level is 4,000 foot-candles. Reduce to 3,000 foot-candles if temperatures exceed ideal range. Shade for late spring production.

Keep foliage dry as much as possible. Irrigation early in the day may lead to foliage burn. Low relative humidity will burn foliage.

Alternative between 150-ppm 15-5-15 Cal Mag and 21-5-20. Fertilizers with low levels of phosphorus help to reduce stretch. Maintain EC at 1.0 to 1.5 and pH at 5.6 to 6.0. Periodically leach to reduce salts.

Give a soft pinch at two to three weeks for best plant habit.

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Encinitas, CA