Maintaining the Clean Chain through Finished Production

Posted: March 15, 2023
306 Crazy Petunia, Petunias that come in all kinds of crazy colors.

From breeders, through stock production, to Plantpeddler as your rooted cutting provider, we work in unison to maintain clean plants. It is important you ensure the clean chain is unbroken when finishing crops.


Prior to the arrival of young plants, prepare carts, benches, and greenhouse areas for receiving and staging crop inputs. Remove all soil and plant debris, then clean areas using a combination of cleaning agents followed by disinfection. We recommend the Pace 49 system of Strip-It Pro TM for cleaning and Kleengrow TM for disinfection. This one-two punch has proven effective on benches, carts, floors, and other surfaces. Contact Judy and Foster McWhorter for advice on the Pace products at 903-521-4481,


Be prepared. Unpack any boxed plants on arrival, off load carted product, and inspect for any shipping damage. Ideally, separate by breeder and maintain any farm source tags with the trays. If you suspect frozen or chilled cuttings, close cases, and thaw slowly. Ideally, place liner trays in a cooler at 40F to slowly recover plant tissue, if not possible keep out of direct sunlight. This can reduce losses with cool tolerant crops. Please report to Plantpeddler and your broker as soon as possible.

Once unpacked, irrigate liners with clear water. Avoid stressing liners before planting. Wilting liners can induce premature flowering, and tissue hardening which reduces natural branching in many annuals. Plant cuttings as soon as possible after receipt. If you must hold cuttings feed with 50-100ppm of Nitrogen with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Starving liners while waiting to plant is a frequent problem which impacts finished plant results.


Start clean to end clean. Use of new pots and trays is highly recommended. Fill with premium media from dependable vendors. During planting, avoid co-mingling breeders; instead, plant like genetics in sequence, disinfecting hands between varieties or, as a rule of thumb, between a maximum of 100 plants.


Care in irrigation cannot be stressed enough. Splashing water moves bacterial and fungal diseases. Water the media, not the plants, as dry foliage is the goal. Reduce stress on freshly planted liners by immediately irrigating with multiple applications of clear water to ensure saturation. On most crops, begin feeding once transplant shock is over, usually the second or third day.

To further enhance growth consider tempering the irrigation water (>60°F). This is especially beneficial on crops like Begonias, Impatiens, and tropical species.

Post Plant

When growing crops limit human touches, as hands and tools can spread disease. Avoid unnecessary pinching, bud and leaf removal, and similar practices. Instead, use cultural techniques and plant growth regulators, like Florel ®, B-Nine ®, and others, to minimize the need for handling plants. Avoid use of knives, scissors, and trimmers that can become contaminated. If you must do plant maintenance, disinfect hands and equipment between every variety or maximum of 100 plants. Keep plants well-spaced to reduce potential spread of disease and pests. Scout crops daily for early signs of diseases, pests, and cultural issues. Pests, like thrips, can serve as disease vectors. Rouge early in the crop to prevent spread.

For further information, contact us.