Variety Spotlight

March 11, 2004 - 14:04

Arctotis

Arctotis has a compact habit, silver leaves and a high flower count from April through November. It performs best in full sun and prefers a well-drained peat/perlite media mix that is slightly acidic — with a pH of 6.0-6.5. Keep plants moist, but not consistently wet, and finishing daytime temperatures at 67-75° F. Plant from January to March for a spring finish. Stick one liner per 4- to 6-inch pot and 3-4 liners per 8- to 10-inch pot. Finishing time is 8-10 weeks for 8- to 10-inch pots and six weeks for 4- to 6-inch pots. Arctotis needs a constant feed of 300 ppm nitrogen and one pinch at liner planting. This series works well in pots, beds, window boxes and mixed plantings. Available in two colors: Sun Spot (shown) and Pumpkin Pie. EuroAmerican Propagators, LLC. (888) 323-0730.

Clematis

‘Roguchi’ is a free-flowering, very vigorous clematis that blooms continuously throughout the spring and summer. Each plant gets a flush of 2-inch bell-shaped blooms. Flowers are deep blue/purple with lighter blue recurved petals that fade to indigo blue. This lax clinger clematis is slightly fragrant, grows 8 feet high in a garden and works well in 1-gal. pots. For greenhouse production, pot liners into 4- to 8-inch containers in a well-drained soil and maintain pH levels at 5.8-6.5. Fertilize with 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer at a rate of 150 ppm constant liquid feed. Maintain a minimum night temperature of 55-65° F and vent during the day at 70-76° F. A monthly drench is also recommended to help in the control of disease development. Prune clematis as needed to maintain vigorous growth and develop a strong root system. Donahues Clematis Specialists. (507) 334-8404.

Pelargonium

Pelargonium peltatum ‘Summertime Shades’ is free flowering all summer long with 11?2-inch blooms. It reaches about 4-inches high, has a “Tangle Free” habit for high density production and works well in pots and mixed baskets. Transplant plugs into a cell pack or 4-inch pots, and grow at a night temperature of 68° F until plants are established. Maintain temperatures of 64-65° F for the remaining crop time. Floranova. +44 1362 688622.

Echinacea

‘Doubledecker’ has two-tier, purple-red blooms. It blooms July through September on 40-inch sturdy stems with blooms featuring a second set of petals growing out of the disk of the first set of single flowers. It is drought tolerant, prefers well-drained soil and reaches 2-3 feet high. Suitable for cut flower production. Jelitto Staudensamen GmbH. (502) 895-0807.

Guzmania

‘Optima’ bromeliad has a compact growth habit and an upright bright orange flower. It reaches 20 inches high and works well in 6-inch containers. Induction time from initiation to flower is approximately 14 weeks. Grow in well-drained peat moss with a pH of 4.5-5.5. Maintain growing temperatures at 65-95° F and light levels at 800-2,000 foot-candles. Deroose Plants, Inc. (407) 889-5228.

Agapanthus

Agapanthus africanus ‘Summer Gold’ is an evergreen perennial with slow to moderate growth and a compact, 15-inch-high and 24-inch-wide, cascading habit. It has green and yellow variegated leaves and blooms in June with umbels of medium blue flowers held on 30-inch stalks above the foliage. It performs well in containers with well-drained soil. Hines Horticulture, Inc. (800) 444-4499.

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