May 24, 2012 - 09:00

The Elegance regal geranium series offers a full range of colors for early spring color. They are easy to grow, free branching and best in 6-inch containers. The distinguished tissue-like flowers have high impact and instant consumer appeal at the retail level.

Grow 6-inch pots at one pot per square foot. Place 4- and 5-inch pots at 21/2 pots per square foot.

Maintain temperature at 59° F nights and 65° F days. Regals are light accumulators; high light levels and long days will enhance flowering. Provide 16-hour days Sept. 15 through April 1. Shade if light levels exceed 3,800 foot-candles until the plants begin to show color. At this time, reduce light levels to 2,500 foot-candles to extend the longevity of the flowers.

Supply 200- to 250-ppm nitrogen and potassium constant liquid feed using a balanced fertilizer complete with micronutrients. Maintain EC below 1.0. Regals are sensitive to excess soluble salts; if EC is above the recommended range, do not allow the plants to dry excessively.

Whiteflies can be a concern on Elegance geraniums. Monitor populations using yellow sticky cards and make necessary insecticide applications to control populations prior to flower development. Botrytis is also a major concern at all stages of the crop. Maintain relative humidity below 70 percent in the finishing environment, and provide good air circulation and ventilation.

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Encinitas, CA