3 Steps To Create Premium Pansy Baskets

By |

Cool Wave pansies

The Wave brand is synonymous with colorful, vigorous, spreading petunias that last. Now, home gardeners can fill their gardens with Cool Wave.

Cool Wave pansies deliver the same easy-care, long-lasting color as other Wave petunias. It’s a vigorous cool-season basket spiller up to 30 inches, and it’s a high-impact groundcover spreading up to 24 inches in the landscape. Cool Wave pansies also demonstrate superior overwintering in nationwide trials.

These pansies provide an opportunity for you to think about premium pansy baskets and containers in your fall pansy program. Here are some tips to finish these pansies for the
fall market:

1. Start With The Right Size Plug

Larger plugs get you off to a better start, especially for baskets and 6-inch production. You can save 10 to 14 days crop time by starting with a 105-size plug (or a similar large-celled plug) instead of a 288. The advantage is due to the 105 plug getting more light to the crown and more water and feed to promote the laterals earlier.

In the heat of the summer, getting your plugs in a week or two later can be a big advantage. Even if you aren’t concerned about heat in your production, the larger plug still means you can get a quicker turn.

2. Reduce Your PGR Use

Standard pansies usually get treated to a cocktail of plant growth regulators (PRGs) to avoid upward stretch. Cool Wave pansy plants are bred to spread, and PGRs will restrict the growth of those laterals. If you keep high light levels and cool nights to finish, you likely won’t need PGRs. If you find you do need to tone them, use B-Nine (daminozide) at 5,000 parts per million (ppm) with Cycocel (chlormequat) at 500 ppm.

3. Feed That Flower

Cool Wave pansies require more fertilizer than is usually recommended for standard pansies. This helps promote growth, spread and flowering. For best results, starting a week after transplant, apply nitrate-form with low phosphorus fertilizer at rate 4 (225 to 300 ppm; Nitrogen (N); 1.5 to 2.0 millisiemus per centimeter (mS/cm) EC) every other irrigation.

For constant feed programs, apply fertilizer at rate 3 (175 to 225 ppm N; 1.2 to 1.5 mS/cm), using predominantly nitrate-form fertilizer with low phosphorus. If needed, alternate a balanced ammonium and nitrate-form fertilizer to encourage growth and balance the media pH. Maintain the media EC at 1.50 to 2.00 mS/cm and pH at 5.4 to 5.8.  If the media pH is greater than 6.2, take corrective measures.

New Cool Wave pansies are best sent to retail in 10- to 12-inch baskets or 6-inch pots, and they perform well in cool-season mixed containers. For more details on how to put together your production plan, contact your PanAmerican Seed product representative or get more crop culture information at PanAmSeed.com.

Scott Rusch (srusch@panamseed.com) is global product manager for PanAmerican Seed. He can be reached in Santa Paula, Calif., at 805-525-3348.

Leave a Reply