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Play It Cool

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photographs courtesy of Suntory Flowers

When is it safe to begin your annual flower plantings? More garden retailers are offering early-season plants that can handle the occasional cold snap.

Vibrant Senetti pericallis plants from Suntory Flowers will tolerate temperatures down to the low 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!

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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.

We’ve been introducing more gardeners to Senetti plants through the Philadelphia Flower Show. This was the second year that designer Tu Bloom used them in hands-on potting party workshops, where participants took home a planter mixing Senetti plants with Cool Wave pansies and other components.

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Senetti is also used extensively in commercial plantings in London, mixed with trailing ivy in window boxes. We saw this last year during King Charles’ coronation. Cheerful Senetti plants are the antidote to gray, dreary days.

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Cool Colors for the Cool Season

Three new Senetti varieties debuted at retail this year:

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Red Halo – Hit the bullseye with this striking new plant! Vivid red daisies have red petals with red center disks encircled by a white halo. Think of the design possibilities – primary colors; red, white and blue; red and white.

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Lavender Dawn – Plants are loaded with smaller lavender flowers that change color with age and temperature. Creamy center disks add contrast. Perfect for Easter décor!

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Blue Bicolor Improved – This top seller got a makeover with modern genetics and performance. Plant growth habit is tidier, creating a vivid canopy of cobalt blue and white blooms.

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Secrets of Success

  • Place Senetti in full sun to partial shade conditions.
  • Keep soil moderately moist.
  • 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.
  • Plants will reflush and bloom again in 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. Plants will go out of flower, just as pansies do.

Embrace Senetti early in the spring with confidence! This plant loves cooler weather.

For more information and to see the full assortment of Senetti varieties, visit

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Photos and story by Monrovia Nursery Company

Lavender is the on-trend plant for gardeners this year. Click here for an article that details a top-tier selection of lavender that ensures success.

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