This winter has been really tough on our gardens and gardeners and we need some beautiful flowers today on Southern Gardening.
One of the flowering plants that’s left me in awe the past couple of years has been the Senetti pericallis. The range of colors is almost iridescent. Colors include deep blue, blue, magenta, and lavender. There are bicolor selections of blue, magenta, and light blue bicolor. These are particularly pretty with their center white halos. One of the best attributes of these pericallis is their love of the cooler temperatures of early spring. They will grow and flower when the thermometer is consistently in the 35 to 40 degree range. But you will have to protect or bring inside as these plants are not frost tolerant. Senetti pericallis can be used in the same way you would use mums in the fall. They look great as a single container plant or even better in a combination container. And take advantage of their reblooming capabilities. When the flowers are starting to fade, prune back by 50%. Replant into a larger container, water and fertilize. In three to four weeks new flowers will start to appear for a second show. The flowers will stop once the temperatures are consistently above 85 degrees. Senetti pericallis has relatively few pests. Deadheading the flowers will lower the chances of getting botrytis on the spent blooms. During the cool temperatures wait until the potting media feels dry before watering. As the temperatures increase don’t let the container dry out completely. Always plant in a good peat-based potting media that has good drainage; a potting media that hold too much water can lead to root problems.
I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.