Begonia and Vinca sensitivity to Paclobutrazol Drenches

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) can be successfully used to control growth or induce lateral branching of many bedding plant species, but some may be ‘sensitive’ to the PGR active ingredient. This Alert demonstrates PGR sensitivity for fibrous begonia and vinca where an accidental paclobutrazol drench application resulted in stunted plants, chlorotic (yellowing) leaves, and black spotting.

To produce high-quality compact flowering plants proportional to
container size, growers can use non-chemical and chemical methods. While non-chemical methods can be successfully deployed, most greenhouse growers use chemical plant growth regulators (PGRs). These chemicals can be applied by various methods to either suppress or promote growth, increase branching, and/or promote or delay flowering of greenhouse crops. Most PGRs can be applied to floriculture crops, but there are instances where the labels warn against application on certain bedding plants species because of their sensitivity to the active ingredient. A perfect example of PGR sensitivity was observed during a recent greenhouse visit.

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