As the first fungicide and plant symbiont introduced to the U.S. horticulture market, Obtego’s dual-purpose function is valuable to all ornamental and vegetable growers. Its unique, fungi-based ingredients not only enhance root growth, but protect plants from damaging soil-borne pathogens as well.
After only five months on the market, Obtego has quickly benefited growers by simplifying the production process, strengthening roots and enhancing overall growth. In fact, Butch Norris, head grower and supervisor at Darrell Norris & Son Greenhouses in Racine, Ohio, almost quit growing vincas this year until Obtego changed his plans.
“We almost stopped doing vincas because we’d have it nice and it’d just rot off,” Norris says. “We learned about Obtego, started using it and hardly had any loss this year. The year before, I dumped several trays of vinca, but this year I only dumped a handful and that was due to where it was grown. It was a major turnaround for us and I know Obtego is the reason.”
Obtego has also improved the way Norris grows vincas. Instead of separating them from other plants and growing them hot and dry, he now waters them more and grows them cooler with everything else, which ultimately helps them grow faster, he says. With this success, he now uses Obtego on lantana, sweet potato vines and verbena, and has noticed improvements with those as well.
Jen DeVere, a section grower at Casa Verde Growers in Columbia Station, Ohio, has also had trouble budding vincas, as well as zinnias. After using Obtego, DeVere says she was blown away by Obtego in comparison to chemical fungicides she’s previously used.
“I like it because it’s going to help encourage root growth. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and have watched it do this,” DeVere says. “It helps keep the plant healthy — healthy root, healthy plant. It’s going to start building a healthy plant from the ground up and that’s the first building block.”
Along with root enrichment, DeVere likes the effortless use of Obtego and calls it a “one and done” because it doesn’t require much cost, labor or continuous use. “You’re watering once, maybe twice and it’s going to be in the soil for that duration,” she says. “It doesn’t drench out; it’s going to linger and grow with the roots.”
DeVere also plans to use Obtego for her poinsettias — a crop the fungicide and symbiont is especially good for. Since poinsettias are susceptible to Rhizoctonia and Pythium (both of which Obtego is effective against) they too, can be improved by its multi-functional elements.
“Poinsettias are prone to several soil-borne diseases, especially early on,” says Mark Brotherton, portfolio leader of SePRO’s turf & ornamental line of solutions. “Obtego controls both Rhizoctonia and Pythium and helps establish and enhance root growth. When poinsettias (and other crops for that matter) can be tough to root and establish, Obtego should be a very beneficial addition to a grower’s arsenal of tools.”
Much like DeVere, Michael Roe, vice president of production at Windmill Nursery in Franklinton, Louisiana, has also noticed the difference in Obtego compared to other fungicides. He currently uses Obtego on nandinas and loropetalums, and when tested against another fungicide, Obtego impressed him the most. “They’re both working as far as root rot and all of that,” Roe says, “but the Obtego is just greener and the plants are more vibrant. They’re just healthier overall.”
After using Obtego on fuchsias that developed stem rot, Tim Kloosterman, owner of Kloosterman Greenhouses in Mattawan, Michigan, has noticed Obtego’s importance for young stages. “It’s a good preventative and keeps things healthy,” Kloosterman says. “It gets you a better start.”
Scott Reeves, grower at Creekside Nursery in Hempstead, Texas, also uses Obtego as a preventative. He says it’s not a reviving product, but is great at preventing diseases, which he noticed after successfully growing farfugium and succulents — plants he previously had a lot of loss in. “I was really impressed with it on the farfugium,” Reeves says. “We’ve had zero loss in them since we started using Obtego.”
Though it’s effective on its own, Kloosterman says it’s still important to rotate Obtego with other fungicides. He classifies Obtego as a great preventive that strengthens roots, while other chemicals combat diseases. DeVere agrees, but Norris, not so much.
“While I did spray for foliar, I never had to do anything else for root rot or anything,"Norris says. "There are just pure, white roots the whole way through.”
Obtego’s efficacy is advantageous to any grower looking to produce lively, strong and healthy crops, but its simplicity and multiple functionalities are the selling point for many.
“The primary reason to use Obtego is because you’re getting a fungicide plus a root enhancer that ultimately leads to higher-quality plants in one product,” Brotherton says. “And by using that, you’re replacing and reducing your use of synthetic fungicides, which helps with either Veriflora or NPS Score(s).”