February 25, 2008 - 01:00

Part of the Envoy series, Cherry Star and Orange Star are two of 17 colors exhibiting large flowers and a robust habit. They may be used in hanging baskets as well as mass plantings. Garden height reaches 20–24 inches.

Germination temperature should be maintained at 70–72° F. Keep relative humidity between 90 and 95 percent. EC level should be kept below 0.75. Light enhances the germination process; use 50 to 150 foot-candles.

Growing on, keep light levels at 1,500 to 2,000 foot-candles. Maintain temperature at 68–72° F. Relative humidity may be between 80 and 85 percent. Begin fertilizing every third irrigation with 100- to 150-ppm nitrogen using a balanced feed. Crop time for a 288 tray should be about five to six weeks.

During the finishing stage, feed 100- to 200-ppm nitrogen using a balanced feed to maintain color of foliage. Keep temperature at 65–70° F. Low temperatures will cause root problems and delay flowering. Soil may be allowed to dry between irrigations to control growth. This will also increase the durability of the plant for shipping.

Restricting water and fertilizer is the best way to control plant height and growth. Spray applications of Sumagic (uniconazole) should be effective. Bonzi (paclobutrazol) and Sumagic drench applications also work well.

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