Color Exravaganza

Color Exravaganza

We know what you’re thinking: “Sure, cineraria are pretty in pots but what about the great outdoors? It’s not what my customers are looking for.” Look at Senetti cineraria, part of the Suntory Collection, and think again.

Cultural Tips

Start Senetti liners in 6- to 8-inch pots in October-December for a sales window of January-April. We recommend potting in a peat-lite mix. Give Senettis one soft pinch about 1 week after liner planting, when plants have 6 or more leaves.

Grow Senetti at temperatures between 68ËšF-72ËšF for the first 3 to 4 weeks of production or until you see active growth. Then lower temperatures to 40ËšF-45ËšF for 6 weeks in order to initiate flower buds. Once initiated, raise temperatures to 50ËšF-60ËšF for another 6 to 8 weeks for flower development.

Senettis require high light conditions. Give them supplemental HID lighting to promote flower development under low winter light conditions.

Keep Senetti consistently moist during active growth. Allow them to dry slightly between waterings during the chill period.

Senettis are heavy feeders and should be fertilized weekly with rates of 200 to 300 ppm nitrogen. At the end of the crop cycle, increase potassium levels. Watch carefully for iron deficiency and treat with chelated iron if necessary.

If a plant growth regulator is desired, the first round of application should be performed one to two weeks after pinching. You may have to repeat the treatment, especially after the chill period. Spray applications with Bonzi at a low rate are recommended. Alar or B-Nine also reduces internode length, but may reduce flower size if applied during flower bud development.

Watch carefully for powdery and downy mildew, thrips and aphids. Thrips should be closely monitored as they can transmit tospoviruses and severely damage your crop.

Traditional cinerarias are one-hit wonders, putting on a powerful display of potted color. The Senetti series (Pericallis hybrids), the first re-flowering cineraria on the market, changes the concept completely. In essence, the Senettis give you and your customer a two-season plant in each pot. Senettis offer four stunningly vivid hues that shout, “think spring” for weeks on end in the midst of winter, just when the indoor environment needs it most. And Senettis will bloom again — outside this time, when cool-but-kind spring temperatures arrive. Just cut back the first flush of flowers once they have faded to rejuvenate the plants for a second flush of color. 

For gardeners in mild-winter climates, Senettis offer a whole other option. Their tolerance of cool temperatures make them the perfect option for a cool-season color extravaganza. Once the petunias are nipped by fall’s cold snap, there’s no need to leave your beds and borders bare. Replant with Senetti cineraria for a colorful garden all winter long.

With this revolution in re-flowering, Senettis become a must-have crop for spring window boxes, baskets, beds and pots. The four hues, ‘Senetti Blue,’ ‘Senetti Blue Bicolor,’ ‘Senetti Magenta’ and ‘Senetti Magenta Bicolor,’ give full- to part-sun locations a colorful start. 

Dave Doolittle is director of marketing for EuroAmerican Propagators, 32149 Aqueduct Road, Bonsall, California, 92003, 888-323-0730, fax: 760-731-3054, e-mail: dave@pweuro.com; www.pweuro.com.

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