This article details the growing instructions for Sandersonia Tubers. Sandersonia is a popular cut flower in Asian Markets. It has a yellow- orange bell like flowers which contrasts well with bright green leaves. It is a good cut flower.
This article is targeted towards professional flower growers who are looking for an alternative cut flower crop.
Basic plant material/tubers
SIZE OF TUBER USE
3 – 5 gram Smallest size for flower production
5 – 7 gram Med. Flower Production
7-10 gram Large flower production
10-15 gram Large Flower Production
Other sizes are available on request.
Sandersonia is a tuberous crop with a tuber as a dormant stage. Each tuber has two tips and is capable of producing two flowers.
Sandersonia flower production can be planned to the week and carried out in most places year round. (Some location will need extra light in winter to increase quality).
Sandersonia is not daylight sensitive and will flower on demand.
Sandersonia tubers can be kept in a coolroom in boxes with lids at 2 – 5 C to allow the grower to stagger planting.
Soil requirements: most soil types are suitable for the production of Sandersonia cut flowers provided the nutrient levels are sufficient for good growth and drainage is good.
It is recommended the soil or media be sterilised before every planting of Sandersonia as this is an insurance for a healthy crop.
Soil or media needs to be kept moist in the first two weeks after planting and as required when plants have come up above the surface.
If grown with minimal water the crop will stay spindly with narrow leaf so water as needed and check often. Sandersonia does not like too dry or too wet.
If kept too dry after planting germination might be problematic or might stop.
After receiving the tubers they need to be kept at room temperature (20-25 degrees Celsius) for up to10 days to sprout the tubers, one side of the tuber will start first and the tuber can be cut in half with approximately equal weight on each half. (only use tubers larger than 5 gram for this procedure )
At this stage the progressive half needs to be kept separate from the dormant half to allow for separate planting of all the progressive tips and have even flowering at harvest.
The cut surface needs to heal for a minimum of 4 hrs ( maximum 24 hrs) in ventilated polybin (polystyrene bin) , one can use the polybin these tubers are send in for this purpose and leave lid open. Avoid placing the tubers in direct sunlight! (Care needs to be taken not to dry the tip of the tuber out at this stage.) A dip of a fungicide is recommended after healing to prevent fungal infection.
(Read label instructions and talk to local experts for best recommendation for this.)
Let the dipped tubers dry for 4-12 hrs and start planting out with the use of appropriate gear to protect hands from the fungicide.
Planting needs to be done 2-4 cm deep at 120-160 tuber tips to one meter of bed.
Place tubers horizontally at bottom of hole.
If planted at lower densities the quality will be better however Sandersonia grows well at 120 plants per meter bed in New Zealand.
Plant density adjustments can be made according to season. ( Less in spring and autumn flowering crops)
Water the first time very well in order to settle the media/ soil around the tuber tip.
After crop has emerged the growth will be quite fast and close attention needs to be kept on insects like Thrip as they can make distortions in the leaf surface that will show up as the crop grows. Botrytis can also give problems.
Crop support is necessary to avoid crop falling over chrysanthemum netting with squares 12.5 – 12.5 is recommended.
Sandersonia can flower 45-80 days after planting depending on time of the year and temperature but under NZ conditions the crop grows well at a minimum temp of 12 deg Celsius and a max temp of 35 degrees Celsius. In the winter it takes 11 weeks from planting to flowering and in the summer 6 weeks from planting to flowering.
In NZ we keep the CF (Conductivity Factor) of our fertigation at 23 (EC=2.3) in the spring and autumn and CF 18 in summer (EC 1.8 ) in the case of using artificial media to grow a hard stem. When grown in soil one needs a balanced state of fertility to allow the crop to grow well.
It is recommended to grow in soil unless one is very experienced with media growing as it is easier to get an acceptable quality without much trouble in soil.
Flowers are ready when two bells are fully open and the third one is starting to colour up. Flowers are pulled out of the soil/media when ready to be harvested. New tubers are disregarded as they are little and not mature.
Flowers are not pulsed as Sandersonia is not ethylene sensitive and does not develop an air block when out of water for a long time.
Flowers are cooled until shipped.
For further information visit : www.plantex.co.nz
Web : www.plantex.co.nz
Email: [email protected]
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