February 22, 2011 - 01:00

Seven new colors have been added to the Genta series for 2011. These diascia feature large flowers, compact growth habit and good branching. They exhibit high disease tolerance and recover quickly after damp and rainy weather. Genta is great in hanging baskets and in combinations with other plants. It may also be grown as a groundcover, on rock gardens.

Rooting takes 12 to 14 days, at temperatures of 64 to 75° F. Use one plant per 4-inch pot (ready for sales in five to seven weeks); use one to two plants per 6-inch pot (ready in seven to nine weeks). Use three to four plants per 10-inch basket or pot (ready in nine to 11 weeks). Pinch once, 10 to 14 days after planting.

Genta grows best in full sunlight to partial shade (5,000 foot-candles). Keep day temperature at 64 to 75° F and night temperature at 52 to 59° F.

Use a well-drained potting mix with a pH between 5.5 and 6.0 and EC between 0.6 and 0.9. Keep moist, but make sure the medium is well drained and avoid surplus watering. Maintain constant feed with a balanced fertilizer (200-ppm nitrogen) containing average levels of micronutrients with a slightly increased level of iron.

Insects to watch for are aphids and white flies. Spray preventatively prior to bloom. Common diseases are Botrytis, Pythium, crown rot and root rot. Avoid burying crown too deeply when transplanting. Drench with broad-spectrum fungicides.

Growth regulators are optional — not necessary under high light intensities.

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