Pentas

May 27, 2008 - 00:00

The Graffiti series is bred for early and uniform flowering. ‘Graffiti Lipstick’ and ‘Graffiti Red Lace’ feature a uniform, compact habit and are very heat tolerant. Other available colors in the series are Violet, Pink, Bright Red, Rose, White and Lavender.

Sow seed in a media with a 6.5-7.2 pH. Maintain uniform soil moisture levels and humidity levels above 95 percent. Temperatures at 75-80° F optimize germination. Do not cover seed as light increases germination rate and improves seedling uniformity. Begin light feeding with 25- to 50-ppm nitrogen.

Gradually reduce temperatures to 70-75° F during Stage 2. Increase fertilization levels to 50- to 75-ppm nitrate nitrogen in a well-balanced mix. Increase light levels to 1,000 foot-candles. During Stage 3, gradually lower temperatures to 65-70° F. Increase light levels to 2,500 foot-candles, and feed at 75- to 100-ppm calcium nitrate in a well-balanced mix. During Stage 4, increase fertilization to 100- to 150-ppm nitrogen, and decrease temperatures gradually to 62-67° F.

Pentas’ roots release hydrogen ions into the soils, which will drop the pH to toxic levels if not monitored and adjusted if necessary. Maintain pH levels at 6.5-6.8 to avoid magnesium deficiencies or iron toxicity.

Crop time for 4-inch pots is 15 to 18 weeks, 16 to 19 weeks for 6-inch pots and 18 to 22 weeks for baskets.

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