Crop Culture Peport: Bacopa Scopia Series

March 19, 2007 - 08:44

The Scopia series, formerly known as the Copia series, has an assortment of available colors, flower sizes and varieties. The emphasis for new varieties was enlarging the flower size and enriching the array of colors.

Its floriferous nature and abundant and early blooms distinguish the series. All varieties have a branched, compact, trailing growth habit. Some are ball shaped and others possess a more vigorous, elongated form.

All Scopia varieties are bred for heat tolerance, durability and continuous flowering. They work well in hanging baskets, window boxes, pots and flower beds. They also work well when combined with other plants in mixed containers and garden beds.

Scopia Varieties

The bacopa Scopia series has a total of 16 varieties. Among them are the Gulliver varieties, which have very large flowers. Scopia varieties include ‘Scopia Dark Pink’, ‘Scopia Pink Shade’, ‘Scopia Golden Leaves’, ‘Scopia Golden Leaves White’, ‘Scopia Great Blue’, ‘Scopia Great Blue Lake’, ‘Scopia Great Pink Improved’, ‘Scopia Great Pink Ring’, ‘Scopia Great Purple’, ‘Scopia Great Rose’, ‘Scopia Great Violet’, ‘Scopia Great White Improved’, ‘Scopia Gulliver Lavender’, ‘Scopia Gulliver Lilac’, ‘Scopia Gulliver Snow’ and ‘Scopia Gulliver White’.

The two new varieties are ‘Scopia Great Pink Improved’ and ‘Scopia Great Pink Ring’. ‘Scopia Great Pink Improved’ has a profusion of large, classic-pink flowers that bloom early and often throughout the season. It is a well-branched, vigorously growing plant with a mounded and trailing habit.

From early in the season to the end, ‘Scopia Great Pink Ring’ produces loads of large, light-pink flowers dotted with purple centers. It’s a vigorous and well-branched variety with a mounded and trailing habit.

Rooting

Scopia cuttings are easy to root. Use a disease-free, well-drained medium with a pH of 5.5-6.0 and EC of 0.6-0.9. No rooting hormone is required. Roots emerge within 8-10 days at temperatures of 64-75° F and develop quickly into a visible mass.

At this stage, soil moisture should be reduced to moderate levels, avoiding saturation. This will prevent unaerated soil conditions that might lead to low pH levels, iron deficiencies and chlorotic foliage. High light intensities, medium fertilization of 75-100 ppm and lower temperatures will keep plants a healthy green while restricting their growth. Pinching about a week before transplanting is recommended to increase branching. The rooted cuttings can be transplanted within about 21 days.

Growing On

Choose a soilless, disease-free, well-aerated potting mix with a pH of 5.3-6.0. Light intensities should be moderate to high: 4,000-8,000 foot-candles. Insufficient light intensities will cause plants to stretch and reduce branching and flowering. Maintain temperatures of 60-75° F days and 55-60° F nights for optimal growth. However, Scopia plants will tolerate both cooler and higher temperatures between 30 and 32° F and between 85 and 90° F.

Apply constant feed with a balanced fertilizer at levels of 200 ppm with supplements of iron and minor elements. Leach periodically to avoid salt buildup. Maintain the media at a 1.5-2.0 EC and 5.8-6.2 pH. Watering should be moderate. Keep the plants slightly on the dry side to avoid root disease when overwatered, but never allow wilting.

Pinching is unnecessary for 4-inch pots, since Scopia varieties are very well branched. It is optional to pinch in larger pots and hanging baskets about 10 days after transplanting.

Growth regulators are usually not necessary under high light intensities and cool temperatures. To control stretching when grown under low light or warm conditions, it is possible to apply several foliar sprays of B-Nine (daminozide) at 1,500-2,500 ppm according to required plant size.

Scheduling And Finishing

Rooted cuttings are planted from January to March for a spring finish. Use one plant per 4-inch pot. These will be ready for sales within 6-8 weeks. For 6-inch pots, use 1-2 plants per pot. Plants are ready for sales in 8-10 weeks. For 10-inch hanging baskets, use 3-4 plants. Baskets should be ready for sales 10-12 weeks from transplant.

About The Author

Chanochi Zaks is marketing manager at Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm. He can be reached at chanochi@danziger.co.il.

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