Culture Tips for Infinity New Guinea Impatiens

June 10, 2003 - 13:27

These New Guineas have better finishing times and features that consumers demand.

New Guinea impatiens burst onto the gardening scene 30 years
ago and already have become etched in the gardener's mind as the perfect shade
plants.

Now comes Infinity, a new series from renowned breeder
Ludwig Kientzler. The Kientzler name has been synonymous with quality and
innovation since 1904. Ludwig Kientzler carefully bred Infinity to be grower
friendly with consistent vigorous habit and finishing times across the series
and also to have the features consumers demand: large flowers, dark green to
purple foliage and a variety of color choices.

More vigorous than most other series, these New Guineas fill
containers and baskets quickly. Their vigorous habit makes them an easy choice
for 10-inch, 12-inch or even larger baskets, plus their production performance
in 4-inch, 5-inch or even gallon pots is exceptional. Although when using
smaller pots, it is best to space the pots to allow the best development style="mso-spacerun: yes"> possible. Rigorous trials and selection
process under outdoor conditions have shown this series to be especially
durable and attractive, even in the heat and rain. For consumers, Infinity is
great in shade combination planters, pots, hanging baskets and in the
landscape.

There are 17 colors in the series -- Blushing Lilac,
Cherry Red (shown above left), Dark Pink, Dark Salmon Glow, Lavender, Light
Salmon, Light Purple, Lilac, Orange, Orange Frost, Pink, Pink Frost, Pink Kiss,
Red, Salmon, Scarlet (center) and White (right) -- all new for 2004.

Growing on

Infinity performs best in fast draining medium with
sufficient peat moss and perlite. Plant 3-5 liners per 8- to 10-inch pot and
one liner per 4- to 6-inch pot. Keep pH at 5.8-6.2 and EC at 0.5-0.7. Light
Levels should be moderate to high. Maximum light intensity is recommended in
early to mid-spring for optimal growth. Light shade should be used in late
spring, but light intensity should be between 3,000-5,000 foot-candles. High
light promotes growth, increases leaf variegation and intensifies leaf color of
the cultivars with dark leaves.

Normal day temperatures should be 65-75° F and normal
night temperatures 60-70° F. Night temperatures above 70° F may cause a
delay in flowering.

New Guinea impatiens transpire a large amount of water, but
do not respond well to continually water-logged medium. After transplant-ing,
it is best to keep the medium just moist, as over watering during this time
will cause problems. Although they will tolerate slight wilting, leaf and
flower burn will occur if the plants are over stressed. We recommend avoiding
wilting but allowing plants to dry between watering.

Finishing time for 8- to 10-inch pots is 11-13 weeks and 8-9
weeks for 4- to 6-inch pots.

Fertilizers, Pests and Diseases

Infinities prefer 100-100-100 ppm N-P-K for the first four
weeks or when the roots have hit the side of the pots. Then 200-100-200 ppm
N-P-K for the rest of the crop cycle. Soluble salts can cause severe root damage
above 2.0 millimhos during production. New Guinea impatiens need only moderate
levels of micro-nutrients. Excess minor nutrients will cause dieback of the
growing tip, leaf margin necrosis and total plant collapse. Poor nutrition may
result in yellowing of leaves, leaf drop and small flowers.

As for pests, watch for thrips, spider mites and cyclamen
mites.

Maintain moderate humidity levels but good air movement to
prevent Botrytis and Myrothecium. Watering plants early in the day and venting
in the afternoon will help control Botrytis. New Guinea impatiens may become
infected with root rot caused by Rhizoctonia, Pythium and Phytophthora. This
can occur especially when plants are over-watered. Drench with a broad-spectrum
fungicide at liner planting to reduce these disease problems. Impatiens
Necrotic Spot Virus (INSV) can be a problem; however, this virus is easily
contained if thrips, the necessary vectoring agent, are controlled.

About The Author

Nicole Jackson is marketing coordinator at EuroAmerican Propagators. She may be reached by phone at (760) 731-6029 or E-mail at Nicole@euroamprop.com.

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