Quick rooting, minimal maintenance

Ask the Experts - Petunias

Tanya Carvalho, territory manager for Ball FloraPlant, discusses Petunia Bee’s Knees, which promises to minimize the agronomic challenges of growing yellow petunias from young vegetative cuttings.

April 21, 2021

Greenhouse Management: What will growers love about new Petunia Bee’s Knees?

Tanya Carvalho: Growers will love Bee’s Knees for its ease of production. It’s quick to root and requires minimal-to-no pinch. It has exceptional branching that produces beautiful, full liners. Bee’s Knees can be produced for sales as early as Mother’s Day and has exceptional heat tolerance for late-season sales making it the perfect start-to-finish petunia for your production planning.

GM: Are there any special tips for producing a successful crop?

TC: Historically, yellow petunias can have their challenges for growers. Bee’s Knees is not your typical yellow petunia. From the time you open your bag of toned cuttings, till you ship your finished pots out the door, Bee’s Knees will impress! Standard petunia culture guidelines apply: Liner crop times of three to four weeks, with a recommended low P feed through mist at time of stick ~50-75ppm and begin feeding at callus. As with standard petunia propagation, a supplemental Fe feed may be needed. To maintain the richness of the bloom saturation do not run lean on feed; a consistently low EC can reduce the saturation of the color of the bloom. Additionally, cooler temperatures have proven to slow the growth of the plant if it is not established or toned prior to reducing the temperature or moving outside.

GM: Tell us about the trialing process. How does Ball FloraPlant bring new petunias to market?

TC: We trial extensively across North America for a minimum of three years before bringing a petunia to market. By trialing in multiple regions, we ensure our products will work for the grower, the retailer and the consumer everywhere. We use specific minimum trial standards to determine the performance from the greenhouse to the gardens.

GM: What can growers expect in terms of supply?

TC: Bee’s Knees is produced out of our Las Limas farm located in Nicaragua. This state-of-the-art facility is designed to prevent insects, diseases and bacteria from entering the greenhouse ensuring clean cuttings delivered to our growers’ doors. With a 99.9% order fill rate, Las Limas is our most reliable, clean supply to North America sold exclusively through Ball Seed. Booking liners? You can expect the same reliable and consistent supply through our 17 suppliers located across North America.

GM: What’s the best way to position Bee’s Knees at retail?

TC: Bee’s Knees is the most high-impact saturated yellow petunia on the market with large blooms sitting on top of dark foliage. With its exceptional branching and beautifully mounded spreading habit, it is easily the go-to yellow petunia for all retail applications from 4-inch or quart pots to larger premium baskets and containers. Landscapers will love it for its habit, heat performance, rain tolerance and outstanding garden performance. To add to its list of benefits, Bee’s Knees plays exceptionally well in combinations! Watch for it in our new MixMasters™ Oh Beehave! and Great Escape, as well as existing MixMasters Sunnyside and Gimme Some Sugar that previously featured Sun Spun yellow and have been upgraded with Bee’s Knees.