Spring Production Of Violina Violas
Native of the Pyrenees mountains, Suntory’s Violina violas provide a graceful, alpine look with a vigorous, trailing habit and hundreds of blooms with a slight fragrance. Unlike seed violas, Violinas offer the best of both worlds – winter hardiness and summer heat tolerance. In shades of yellow, orange, pink and blue, Violinas are a great choice for sunny or cool color schemes in hanging baskets, window boxes and patio pots. Try mixing with Surfinia petunias and Temari verbenas. Plants reach a height of 6 to 8 inches with a spread of 12 to 14 inches, allowing them to gracefully spill over edges. Plants are self-cleaning and bloom continuously.
Produce Violina as an early spring or early fall crop. Violina is day length neutral and does not require supplemental lighting to flower, but it will produce better quality and more flowers with increased light. Use a well-drained peat/perlite mix with a pH between 5.4 and 5.8 to reduce the risk of Thielaviopsis (black root rot). Crop temperatures at this stage should be 60-66ËšF for the first couple of weeks to aid root development. Do not over water.
After two weeks, the crop is best grown as cool as possible. Maintain day temperatures of 65-75ËšF during the day and 45-55ËšF at night.
Temperatures in excess of 75ËšF will encourage Thielaviopsis when combined with high levels of water. Give as much air to the crop as possible and keep floors dry. Water plants before wilting and allow the substrate to dry out between watering.
Plant Growth Regulators
Plants are responsive to daminozide, paclobutrazol and uniconazole. Try a combination of chlormequat (Cycocel) and daminozide (B9) as a drench that’s 2,000 ppm B9 and 1,000-1,500 Cycocel. All of these regulators will keep the crop from stretching, which happens easily in high temperatures. Violina is very vigorous. The use of zero or negative DIF (difference between day and night temperatures) has proven to be a successful strategy, too.
• 4-inch pots – seven to eight weeks
with one liner
• 10-inch baskets – 14-16 weeks with three liners
Pests & Diseases
Monitor for aphids, fungus gnats, shore flies, thrips, whiteflies, mites, leaf miners, snails and slugs. A broad-spectrum fungicide drench is recommended to prevent Botrytis, Thielaviopsis and Pythium.