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The Science Behind Better, Faster Flowering Plants

Proven Profits


The Science Behind Better, Faster Flowering Plants

Learn how to manage faster turns and provide eye-catching color for your retail customers by taking advantage of the Supernova® liners system.

By Dennis Crum, Head Grower

Shorter growing times and consistently flowering crops don’t happen on their own.  Around 12 years ago, Four Star worked with our friends at Michigan State University to develop a treatment that starts plants at the same time, to give high quality, consistently flowering crops in approximately 5 weeks.  We call this system Supernova® liners.

Butterfly Argyranthemums
Butterfly Argyranthemums in SUPERNOVA® 84 and 42 liners are
developed for shorter crop times and consistent flowering, on d
elivery.  All plants are in a 4.50 CLASSIC™ pot.

When we developed the Supernova® system, we identified the genera which needed a special treatment to produce finished crops of desired size, full color, and shorter crop time than standard liners.  Many of these are very popular varieties like Superbells® and Supertunias®.  

We found that these plants perform their best as Supernovas, providing more bulk and branching, quick growth in typical greenhouse conditions, and consistent flowering — on a programmable schedule.  Supernovas typically need much less, if any, PGR treatments compared to standard liners, and will save on labor costs because less pinching is required.  In fact, we usually don’t even recommend any pinching.

SUPERNOVA® liners require fewer growth regulator treatments, while offering faster finish than standard liners.

In 12 years of growing Supernovas, we discovered that it takes only around 5 weeks for most varieties to flower on time.  That is almost half the time of plants in standard liners!   

An example is Superbells, which have a Supernova crop time of 5 to 6 weeks, vs. the 8 to 9 weeks typical for growing in standard liners. 

More developed plants, maximum flowering

The idea behind Supernova 42 liners is to space plants out so they have more time to grow and more space to develop a multi-branched and well-bulked plant.  These plants are treated to develop maximum branching and also initiate and time flowering for a programmed, finished crop.

Growers receive a more mature plant with more branching, initiated and timed flowering, and treatment with PGRs to produce the best-finished material possible in small containers.  After planting, growers care for Supernovas as they normally would the genera, with no additional lighting.  We provide a Supernova Growing Guide with complete details.

The Supernova 84 liner combines the advantages of the Supernova system with smaller plants in an 84 tray.  They will take slightly longer to finish, but will also give the same high quality appearance and consistent flowering. 

SUPERNOVA® liners save time and money by providing retail-ready crops more quickly.

We continue to develop new Supernova® sizes to benefit specific varieties, such as the Supernova 50 for Infinity® New Guinea Impatiens.

Start first-turn crops on time

While many growers use Supernova liners for their second and third crop turns, we believe the most important crop to plant from Supernovas is the first.  This ensures a flowering crop within a scheduled time frame and will allow for space and sales of the second and third Supernova crops.  

Without Supernova liners, it can be a challenge getting that first retail-ready crop finished on time, and it may involve extra pinching, PGRs, or other steps.  That costs more money in labor, chemicals, and overhead.

Using Supernova liners on the first turn reduces those costs and extra risks, and allows the grower to manage multiple turns easily, while also producing eye-catching, fully flowering plants on a regular basis.

To learn how you might turn this technology into higher profits, contact us at or call 734.654.6420.


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