Varieties

August 31, 2001 - 10:50

Dianthus

Sakata’s Dianthus ‘Kawara’ is a reliable perennial plant from seed that blooms from spring until heavy frost. Kawara has feathery flowers in pastel tones that are attractive in landscapes and as cut flowers. Plants are relatively tall (2-3 feet) with a good branching habit, making them ideal for knee-high gardens. The stems are strong and flexible, and the vase life is excellent.

Transplanting.

For green sales, plant in jumbo packs or 4-inch pots. For color sales, plant three plugs per 1-gallon pot. Use well-drained media with a pH in the 5.5-6.5 range and a low EC level. Dianthus is a soft-tissue plant, and one should avoid planting the seedlings too deep to prevent stem rot. A pinch at transplant is recommended to increase branching.

Fertilizer.

Dianthus is not a heavy feeder, but growers should fertilize on a regular basis to produce healthy plants. Avoid using fertilizers that contain high amounts of ammonium nitrate to prevent plant stretch and soft growth, especially under warm conditions.

Growth regulators.

Plants can reach 2-2 1/2 feet tall. Height is best controlled with cool temperatures and by using a calcium nitrate-based fertilizer. If needed, Cycocel or Bonzi are effective in controlling plant stretch on dianthus.

Timing.

The Kawara series flowers around three months after sowing under long-day conditions (longer under short-day conditions).

Colors.

Available colors of Kawara include Pink, Rose Pink and White.

Sakata, Morgan Hill, Calif.

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Gazania

Goldsmith’s Gazania ‘Kiss’ series combines uniformity, 90 percent germination, superb flower quality, short flower stems, compact plant habit and strong colors. With its free-flowing characteristics, Kiss is good for rock gardens, mass displays and border edgings. It can also be used as an annual ground cover.

Container.

Plants can be grown in packs, 4-inch pots and gallons.

Media.

Select a porous media that drains well, with a pH of 5.8-6.2.

Moisture

. Ganzania prefers a dry culture. Allow media to dry to touch between waterings. Water early in the day to allow the foliage to dry before nightfall. Saturated media for extended periods will induce stretching. Excessive drought conditions will delay flowering and promote leaf burn under high light conditions.

Media temperature.

After transplants are established, reduce night temperatures to 55-60û F with moderate day temperatures. Gazania grows well in full sunlight.

Fertilizer.

Alternate between a calcium-based fertilizer and an ammonium-based fertilizer at 100-150 ppm nitrogen. When night temperatures exceed 65û F, fertilize exclusively with ammonium nitrate to promote vegetative growth.

Growth regulators.

Gazania responds to Cycocel or B-Nine. Apply every 2-3 weeks as needed to maintain compactness. When temperatures exceed 80û F, a tank mix of B-Nine/Cycocel may prove more effective.

Pests and diseases.

Thrips and spider mites are common problems with gazania. Common diseases include Botrytis, Rhizoctonia and Sclerotinia.

Scheduling. Packs of Kiss can be finished in 13-14 weeks from sowing, or approximately 10 weeks when transplanting from plugs. Larger containers may need an additional 1-2 weeks.

Goldsmith, Arcadia, Calif.

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new varieties

Potting mum

‘Royal New Orleans’ has purple-hued outer petals and white flower color at the inner base of each petal. The daisy eye is a fresh light green. It has classic daisy flower form that is slightly cupped. Royal New Orleans exhibits a strong and semi-spreading growth habit. It has a fast, 8-week response with a delay up to one week in very hot summer flowerings. It is best grown as a spray pot. Yoder, Barberton, Ohio.

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Veronica

Veronica ‘Bergen’s Blue’ features a very untypical veronica with loose clusters of Forget-me-not-like flowers that emerge from stems of green lanceolate foliage. Bergen's Blue grows best in moist, but well-drained soil. It needs full sun. Bergen’s Blue blooms from June to August. Plants stand about 15 inches high and need to be planted about 12 inches apart. Bergen’s Blue makes a nice perennial border and is a good ground cover. Darwin Plants, Hillegom, Holland.

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Anthurium

‘Robino’ is the result of a breeding strategy aimed at developing compact-flowering pot anthurium varieties. The flower and plant development is fast and shows good performance in a broad range of climatological conditions. The flowers are well-situated above the leaf canopy, which consumers value as attractive. The leaf structure is sturdy and waxy, resulting in a strong plant during cultivation and transport. The leaves are compact and dark green, a "healthy" plant feature for consumers. Robino can be grown in a 5- and 6-inch pot size. Anthura, Bleiswijk, The Netherlands.

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Calibrachoas

‘Sweetheart’ Calibrachoas offer you the widest color range on the market with a similar growth habit, flowering time and excellent outdoor performance. With their first mounding and later trailing growth habit, they can be grown in pots and baskets.

‘Sweetheart Light Pink’ has large, light pink flowers with a dark pink heart-shaped eye; this is why they’re called Sweethearts. It has a medium vigor, grows like a carpet and flowers early. This is the first really pink calibrachoa, and the overall appearance is breathtaking. Selecta Klemm, Stuttgart, Germany.

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