When it comes to early season color and impulse purchases, you can’t beat Senetti. Flower count can be as high as 200 on a plant grown in a 10-inch pot. Senetti likes it cool and can withstand temperatures as low as 35°F. In addition to the benefits of production energy savings, the plants are a natural fit for the early spring sales window.
Senetti has a unique reblooming ability, extending longevity through spring. Consumers can buy Senetti early and enjoy it until temperatures become very warm at night. Once the first flush of flowers fade, cut plants back by 50 percent for a fresh flush of blooms. Senetti will keep blooming until temperatures reach the mid 80s in the summer.
Make a splash at retail
The untapped potential for Senetti is great. Become a destination by offering a full selection. With more than 20 varieties to choose from, you can set your assortment apart from your competitors. Place solid colors next to striking bicolors to energize endcaps. Imagine displays with Ruby Red next to Super Blue and Blue Bicolor. Or create a mass display of a single color to attract attention.
Last but not least, promote the Senetti brand and its benefits. Suntory offers a wealth of free content you can use in your digital marketing and social media promotions. Consumer-facing content and links to the Virtual Combo Designer and Easy Gardening Tips apps can be found at www.suntoryflowers.com.
Growing Senetti in the North
Larger liners dramatically reduce crop time for a stunning show.
Growers who don’t want to fire up their greenhouses in early winter can still enjoy an early spring market for Senetti.
“One challenge we’ve found is Senetti are difficult to time because the plants are so responsive to temperature,” says John Barone of Barone Gardens near Syracuse, N.Y. “Most northern growers don’t want to start the crop in December or January for the recommended cold, slow-growing method at 40°F. If you grow the plants at colder temperatures, the crop takes longer, plants are shorter and they need less growth regulator. But if you push them with warmer temperatures, it’s still a nice crop, but you need to sit on them with growth regulators.”
A great solution is to purchase large liners, like Barone’s 32-cell 2-16 tray. Growers can bring plants in weeks 9 to 12 and finish them for sales in late April or early May. Another option is to purchase 102-sized liners for weeks 6 to 7 to finish the crop in late April, growing plants at temperatures of 50-55° F.
“When we grow Senetti, we start warm, get the plants rooted, apply fungicide, and then cool them down,” Barone says. “Even growers who bring in large liners should grow the plants warm for a couple of weeks. We establish the plants at 65°F to get the roots out to the edge of the container, use a broad-spectrum fungicide and then finish.”
Secrets of Success
Once you’ve determined timing and temperature, these guidelines will help you finish a gorgeous Senetti crop.
Go Large – Senetti needs room to show its stuff. Plants will be happiest in pot sizes that are 8 inches or larger. You will also see the most impressive show and flower count in a larger pot, increasing the opportunity to command a premium price at retail. You want at least 20 flowers for consumers to see the wow factor. For smaller pots, choose the Baby Senetti series, which is more compact.
Feeding – After transplanting, provide Senetti with 200 ppm nitrogen from an all-purpose feed. Senettis are also heavy iron feeders, so keep soil pH between 5.5 and 6.0 with a monthly drench of Peters S.T.E.M. for additional micronutrients, or as needed if plants show deficiencies.
Watering – Senetti’s vigorous root system will require a lot of water on bright and warm days. We recommend Senetti be grown normally on the dry side.
Lighting – Senetti is a day-neutral plant. Light levels of 5,000-6,000 footcandles are ideal.
Managing Growth – Rooted liners usually arrive pinched. If not, they will require a pinch. Plants will break naturally. Senetti is very responsive to B-Nine, which can be used at 2,000 ppm every 14 days, depending on the crop timing and growing temperatures.
Pests & Diseases – Aphids are the number one pest for this crop, but spider mites and whiteflies can also be present during production. Scout for thrips as flowers develop. Powdery mildew can be an issue during cool crop production. Keep humidity levels low in the greenhouse. A preventive drench with Subdue MAXX and Cleary’s every eight weeks will prevent root rot. For more crop-specific production advice from Suntory Flowers, download the Grower’s Guide App in the iTunes store.
Add some bling to your spring
Senetti Sparkle varieties present a fashionable new look from Suntory Flowers.
Looking for something new to kick off your spring season? Senetti has a fashionable new sister series that really sparkles!
Frilly petals dance on top of soft grey-green foliage in shades of Light Pink, Sky Blue and Lavender, bringing a new color palette and flower form to the pericallis genus. Think of Senetti Sparkle varieties as The Supremes or your favorite classic female singing group in matching dresses.
Their feminine colors lend themselves to floral treatments as gift plants that can then be planted outside while temperatures are still cool. Senetti plants like it cool and can withstand temperatures as low as 35°F.
Although Sparkle varieties may look dainty, these reblooming pericallis varieties are also the most heat tolerant in this cool crop. Plants are also more compact than the classic Senetti series, reaching a height of 8 to 14 inches depending on the pot size. The Sparkles are a great medium-sized Senetti, in between the original series and Baby Senetti. Plants are hardy to Zones 9-11.
Add them to your cool season offering and watch them sell out! Be among the first to offer the Sparkle varieties in your Senetti program this winter and spring.
For more information, visit www.senetti.com.