By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers
Senetti plants are so cool, they have their own season! Nearly two million Senetti plants are grown and sold each year. While the vast majority are the striking Magenta Bicolor and Blue Bicolor with vibrant tips and white centers, there are some rich solid colors worthy of attention, too.
Bred by Suntory Flowers in Japan, Senetti is a collection of pericallis hybrids, which were obtained by cross breeding members of the Compositae and Asteraceae families. Before reclassification, Senetti was known as a cineraria hybrid, but Senettis are nothing like seed-grown cineraria grown as a house plant. Their large, daisy-like flowers bloom from early spring until summer. Bloom count can be as high as 200 on a plant grown in a 10-inch pot.
New at retail this year is Senetti Violet. Petals are a deep violet blue. A white halo emerges around the center disk as the flowers age. Perfect for those who are crazy for purple and love violets and amethysts! Here’s a video link that give more information about Senetti Violet.
The first Senetti on the red spectrum is Ruby Red. Beautiful wine red blooms feature even darker centers of the same color. Where else will you find this color in cool temperatures? Perhaps in stocks (Matthiola). Could be a great companion to Senetti!
If you are going for sapphires, there are three blues to choose from: Blue, Deep Blue and Super Blue! Super Blue is the newest of the three with dark blue flowers and deep navy centers.
An intense new combo you may find at retail is Neon Nites, pairing the solid colors of Magenta and Deep Blue. Consider planting up your own combo planters and window boxes mixing Senetti colors.
As soon as the weather starts to break, it’s Senetti season. Plants like the same cooler conditions as pansies, osteospermums and nemesia. Senetti will tolerate temperatures down to the mid 30s. In the South, they are a perfect choice for winter, with plants hitting the market in late January. In the North, timing is late March through April, perfect for Easter! Plants thrive in full sun to partial shade conditions.
After blooming has finished, cut back the old blooms by removing 50% of the height of the plant, and then repot into a larger container or into the landscape. Reblooming will start again from 3-4 weeks, provided temperatures during the day and night are kept as cool as possible. High summer temperatures (85-90°F) will stop the reblooming.