Monday, May 16, 2011

Bonzi-ed


Bonzi is one of a group of chemical plant growth regulators (PGR’s) used by commercial greenhouse growers to help control the size and growth rate of herbaceous annuals and perennials. They work by interfering with gibberillic acid (GA) formation in the plant. GA is the plant hormone responsible for internode/stem elongation. Plants treated with a PGR often appear to have their leaves “stacked” close together and they’re also a little “harder” than usual. 

When used properly, PGR’s are a great tool to help growers hold crops until they are ready to be shipped. However – because they are a little tricky to apply, growers sometimes over-do-it and plants become permanently stunted.

I recently purchased some gorgeous Profusion Zinnias from our local home improvement center. I lke the Profusions because they are so much more heat/drought tolerant than traditional zinnias. Anyway – they’ve been in the ground for 3 weeks and haven’t grown an inch – despite frequent irrigation, a little fertilizer and one of our rare rainfall events. I suspect I am the victim of an excessive PGR application. In other words, I was Bonzi-ed.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do if this occurs – short of returning the plants. Since I HATE returning stuff, I don’t see that happening. So I’ll just monitor the situation and/or start over. Just thought I’d share this info so that you might be aware of the potential problem.

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