Photo: Courtesy of Dümmen Orange
Piñata pentas thrives in hot, sunny locations and adds a burst of color to garden beds, hanging baskets and mixed containers. Naturally compact with large, clear flowers and dark foliage, Piñata is a vegetative variety that blooms earlier than seed varieties. Available in four colors from Dümmen Orange.
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Production Propagation Use a rooting hormone when sticking to ensure consistent and even rooting. Expect callusing at day 10 and root emergence at day 14. Pentas require frequent misting during the first 2 to 4 days after sticking. Do not allow cuttings to wilt. Continue a light, frequent mist to maintain a film of water on the leaves during callus and rooting phase. Additional misting at night can be beneficial if under low humidity or high light conditions. Maintain day temperatures between 76 to 78°F (24 to 25°C) and night temperatures between 72 to 74°F (22 to 24°C). For best callus and root development, maintain media temperature between 72 to 74°F (22 to 24°C). Provide light levels of 1,500 to 2,000 foot-candles, increasing to 3,000 to 3,500 foot-candles once roots are formed. Cuttings should be fully rooted five weeks after sticking. Finishing Environment Maintain day temperatures between 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C) and night temperatures between 65 to 68°F (18 to 20°C). Maintain day temperatures between 70 to 75°F (21 to 24°C) and night temperatures between 65 to 68°F (18 to 20°C). Average daily temperature below 62°F (17°C) will delay development and increase crop time. Do not allow temperature to drop below 50°F (10°C). Utilizing a wet/dry cycle once established will encourage strong root development. Pentas are sensitive to overwatering which can lead to root rot diseases. Maintain light levels of 3,500 to 4,500 foot-candles to encourage compact growth habit. Pentas are daylength neutral, but will initiate flowering over a shorter period if long days are provided (13 to 14 hours minimum). Fertility Maintain media pH between 6.4 to 6.8. Maintain EC between 1.5 to 1.8 (saturated media extract). Fertilize with 150 to 200 ppm nitrogen from a low-phosphorus fertilizer (e.g., 15-5-15 or 13-2-13). Magnesium deficiency symptoms include marginal and interveinal chlorosis, which is especially apparent in newly expanded leaves. If a fertilizer without magnesium is used, supplement with 1 to 2 pounds magnesium sulfate per 100 gallons water. To avoid iron toxicity, maintain pH above 6.4.