Senetti pericallis has been one of our most vibrant and unique brands. In addition to improving tried and true colors, the breeders at Suntory Flowers have been working their magic creating color-changing varieties, such as Magic Salmon, Rose Glow and the new Lavender Dawn. In general, the breeding direction has been making the plants tidier and more compact with an increased flower count and overall better tolerance to fungal diseases in production.
Our most significant introduction for 2024 is a replacement for Blue Bicolor — Blue Bicolor Improved. It’s a top seller and at least 20 years old, but it was always problematic in production. The new one has a more compact habit, higher flower count and better disease resistance. The original variety was the most vigorous and could get really wild looking in a gallon pot.
The new Lavender Dawn is an upgrade, but not a replacement, to Magic Salmon. Plants are more compact and loaded with smaller blooms that start out dark lavender and lighten with age. It’s an excellent choice for Easter promotions in Northern markets.
Red Halo is truly distinctive with red daisy blooms and a white ring around red center eyes. It would be great for Valentine’s Day promotions in the South.
We’ve published two new tools to help you choose Senetti varieties. One is a chart that sorts the varieties by vigor and bloom time (Figure 1).
The other is grading varieties as Senetti Select based on performance in stock production. Ten varieties have earned the Senetti Select designation. These varieties demonstrate the most disease resistance and resilience during cutting harvests and are marked with a blue ‘S’ on pages 30-31 in
With the early spring sales window, Senetti has its own season, beginning in January in the South and March
in the North. Plants will tolerate cool temperatures down to 35° F. This also gives growers the option of growing Senetti “low and slow” under cooler temperatures, as an energy-saving crop. Crop time is 10 to 20 weeks depending on final size, temperature and number of cuttings transplanted.
- 4-inch/quart pot (1 liner) 9-12 weeks — recommended only for Baby Senetti varieties
- 6-inch/1 gallon pot (1 liner) 10-12 weeks, 1 pinch
- 10-inch pot (2-3 liners) 12-14 weeks, 1 pinch
- 12-inch pot (3-4 liners) 12-14 weeks, 1 pinchEstablish plants at 65° F and then reduce temperatures — 35-45° F for cool, 50-55° F for moderate.The following chart compares growing plants warm at 53° F versus cool at 41° F.
Root initiation — within 14 days. Rooting media should have a pH between 5.6 and 5.8. Set aerial temperature to 75° F. If growing with bottom heat, set to 68° F. Set humidity at 90%.
Root development — 14 to 21 days. Mist is no longer required. Mist only if wilting occurs when plants are transferred to a brighter environment. Set humidity between 60 to 70%. On brighter days in higher light regions, 30 to 40% shade may be required.
Finishing liner — 21 to 35 days. Cease misting and keep relative humidity and temperature the same as the root development stage. At 7 to 10 days prior to shipping or transplant, give cuttings a light pinch to encourage branching.
Transplant liners into well-drained growing media. Keep pH between 5.5 and 6.0. Optimal growing temperatures post- transplant are from 40 to 50° F with relatively low humidity. Senetti can be grown warmer, between 55 to 65° F, but keep in mind this will affect flower timing and possibly stretch flower stems. See the PGR section for suggested application, if needed. Fourteen to 21 days post-transplant, give plants a pinch to ensure optimal branching/soil coverage and overall shape. Senetti is day-length neutral.
Ideal light conditions are between 5,000 and 6,000 foot candles. Above 6,000 foot candles, plants develop stress symptoms.
Right after initial transplant, hit plants with a strong application of 250 ppm nitrogen 20-10-20.
Continue this feed for the next four weeks of crop time. Senetti is a heavy iron feeder. A monthly drench application of STEM, or similar product, is recommended.
Senetti does best when grown on the dryer side. This helps to develop a strong, dense plant and helps minimize diseases. However, due to its vigorous root system, Senetti will require heavy watering on brighter and warmer days. Achieve this with clear water only.
Finish the last few weeks of production on higher phosphorus fertilizer to support flower production (10-30-20).
PLANT GROWTH REGULATORS (PGR)
Senetti is very responsive to B-Nine, which can be used every 14 to 21 days at 2,000 ppm. ‘Senetti Light Blue Bicolor’ will need extra treatment early on and a stronger application during flower development. Florel can also be used at the rooting stage to promote lateral shoots. Bonzi can be applied as a late drench once plants are fully established at 2 ppm.
PESTS AND DISEASES
Aphids are the number one pest for Senetti. Spider mites and whiteflies can also be present during production. Scout for thrips during flower development.
Thielaviopsis (black root rot) is the biggest disease problem for Senetti. Subdue/Cleary’s tank mix is recommended, rotating Terraguard or similar product every four weeks.