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‘Sunbeckia’ and ‘SunMagic’ rooting with biologicals

Rooting tissue culture propagated plants is not magic, it’s just following some basics procedures.  Beside good sanitation Hartwig B. is working in ‘Sunbeckia’ and ‘SunMagic’ rooting with biologicals. Let us look at some details.

1. The propagation area

Clean your benches with plenny of water and remove organic material from your bench. Water can do a lot when it comes to cleanliness. Hartwig Bull is using ebb & flow benches in his propagation area.  Expanded metal benches are fine too.

Use a desinfectant to desinfect the area. Here in Germany we are using a product called Menno Florades. Menno Florades is doing a great job. Besides Xanthomonas and other plant-pathogene bacteria, enduring forms of fungi, as Fusarium, Cylindrocladium this product is covering also various viruses. 

2. Propagation media

Various products are on the market. Hartwig Bull got best results with loss media with 20% Perlite 4-8mm filled in

  • 60cell tray for Echinacea ‘SunMagic’
  • 40cell tray for Rudbeckia ‘Sunbeckia’

Rooting in loss media means, that you have to schedule at least one week longer rooting time for recieving a strong rootball for transplanting. Hartwig is rooting more or less only for his own finished production. A week more or less on rooting is not so important.

For commercial liner production every week counts. Different  rooting systems are available:

  • Ellegard / paperpots
  • Jiffy Pellets
  • Glue Plugs / Jiffy Preforma
  • etc.

The advantage of those systems is that rooting is completed faster!

3. The TC material

When the TC material arrives, store in a shaded area maintaining about 55 – 60°F.

4. Create the right climate in propagation

An area with fog-system or high pressure mist nozzles would be nice. Hartwig is just using polytunnels which do a good job as well. Here some details:

  • keep high humidity of 95% in the first 5 days
  • keep temperatures about 65 – 70° F
  • avoid air flow and drying out of the  young tissue culture plant
  • start to give more air after 5 days
    • ones a day
    • after 14 days remove the film (depending on the devolopment of the plant)

In the early weeks of the year, with rather low light levels and shorter days a transparent film is perfect. Later with higher light levels from begining May until end of June use a milky film for shading and keeping temperatures down.

5. Use Biologicals – a very important point!

Thomas Grube, headgrower in Hartwig Bull’s production is using 3-5 days after transplanting the TC a mix out of different Biologicals for good rooting results and preventiv plant protection.

(local product)
Trichoderma harzianum
Bacillus subtilis
Both organizims covering the root system. Difficult for pathogens (Phytophthora) to enter into the root system. Bacillus s. conters Fusarium, Trichoderma harzianum conters Botrytis.
(Biolchim product)
Amino-, Humic- and Fulvic acids,
Glycine Betain,
seaweed extacts (Macrocystis)
The combination of organic acids, phytosaponins and glycine betaine results in a ROOTING FACTOR, which improves root formation and development, nutrient uptake and soil structure. Polysaccharides, vitamins and chelated micronutrients complete the action of the Rooting Factor by enhancing primary metabolism and optimizing hormonal balance.
The effect of NOV@® on root growth and functionality leads to rapid and balanced vegetative growth (larger leaf surface, thicker stems shorter internodes) and to increased fruit size and uniformity.
SF-NematodesSteinernema feltiaeSteinernema feltiae  fights Fungus gnats successfully, which can be a main problem in Rudbeckia and Echinacea rooting.

This mix will be applied to the plant as a light drench 2 – 3 times during propagation.  5 days after transplanting the TC all, plants are standing upright.

6. Historical excursion / using the “Schneider zinc watering can”

Even if we have automatic watering and fog systems, potting maschines and using space-o-mat systems, we still use for small batches in propagation the old zinc watering cans from “Schneider”. Emigrants of the 1920 – 1950 should still know the famous german can producer “Schneider”.

7. Rooting results

Above details and in particular the drench with Biologicals to prevent Fungus gnats, Botrytis and other pathogens will help to produce perfect liners. After 7 days the foliage of the rooted tissue culture is standing upright.

The finished liner, of Rudbeckia ‘Sunbeckia’ or Echinacea ‘SunMagic’ should look like the pictures below:

Further information you find also here:

Sunbeckia and SunMagic rooting with biologicals is not magic, it’s just the above!

For more information reach out for:

  • Kathy McKay – Mail:
  • Sven Magnussen – Mail:

Sven Magnussen

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