Full of flowers and available in a range of four bright colors, Bossa Nova adds a new dimension to bedding displays. The well-branched plants also look stunning in large containers or hanging baskets, either singly or as part of a combination.
Use a well-drained, peat-based growing mix with a pH of 5.5 to 5.8 and EC less than 1.5. Do not bury the plugs. Keep soil temperature 65 to 68° F for rooting out, then lower to 61 to 68° F to grow on. Avoid temperatures below 57° F.
Keep light levels below 4,000 foot-candles. Low light levels promote bigger leaves and stretching; high light levels promote more compact habit and earlier flowering. Day length is critical to achieve the best quality — maintain 14-hour days until bud formation and increase to 16 hours for more showy plants.
Practice a good wet/dry moisture cycle, but avoid over drying, especially wilting as this will result in uneven and stunted growth. Water early in the day to avoid leaf scorch on sunny days. Bossa Nova responds well to sub-irrigation.
Feed once or twice per week with 150- to 200-ppm nitrogen from 20-10-20, 15-5-15 or 17-5-17. Alternating with a higher potassium feed will help keep plants compact.
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Sundenia dipladenias offer the large flowers consumers love in mandevillas but on a compact, manageable plant. Flowers are 3 to 5 inches in diameter, double the size of a typical dipladenia. Colors include Red, White and Coral. Foliage is glossy green. With vigorous vining and superior branching, Sundenia can be used in beds, patio pots, hanging baskets, window boxes or even indoors as a houseplant.
Use a free-draining soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0. Fertilize with 240 ppm of a well-balanced fertilizer every other watering.
Water sparingly in the winter to prevent Fusarium and Botrytis. Water sufficiently in the summer to encourage growth.
Maintain temperature at 65 to 75° F.
Pinching is necessary to improve branching. Wait until the plants are fairly well rooted before pinching.
One liner in 4- to 5-inch pots will be ready in three months. One liner in 8- to 12-inch pots will be ready in up to eight months.
Pests to watch for are aphids, thrips, whitefly, red spiders and mites.
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