These plants are sold mainly for window box decoration in summer, and due to their habit are also popular for hanging baskets. There is only a small demand as flowering pot plants. Being half hardy, they are not used out of doors until June.
Soft tipare best taken from stock plants set aside for this purpose, I.e. grown in permanently. When grown for use in May in 125mm , should be taken in the previous July, early August. Where plants in about 85mm pots are required cuttings can be taken in September-October. Cuttings can be taken in March to give plants for sale in June/July. Cuttings imported from sunnier climates permit rooting of this good material in January, February, March for plants for sale from May.
The bestmaterial is short jointed. Use the tips of the shoots, leave the top intact, remove lower and cut below a node. A suitable rooting is half peat and half sand. Insert cuttings firmly and avoid overwatering.
Where bottom heat can be provided, I.e. by soil-warming cables this gives quick rooting. Seradix or other rooting aids can be used as well as captan against blackleg.
Small quantities of cuttings can be inserted in 75mm deep trays or directly into the rooting medium in a propagating case or on a bench, for large batches.
When rooted, plants should be potted up singly into 85mm pots. Pot fairly firmly. J.I.P.l. is a suitable, or loamless mixes may be used.
Pot on early struck batches into 125mm pots, using J.I.P.2 or equivalent compost. These would be huge extra fine plants – Kew Gardens quality as it were, as against the much smaller offerings more frequently used and which don’t develop the number ofneeded to make a show until later in the season.
Pinch out the growing point to encourage a bushy plant, but taking care to stop plants to ajoint where a shoot growth bud shows. Side growths which develop from the first stopping can be stopped when they have two pairs of leaves.
can be troublesome and spraying with malathion or fumigation with HCH may be needed regularly. White oil emulsions will reduce , red spider and white fly problems.
The taller varieties will need careful staking and tying.
Space out the plants when in flower, pay close attention toand avoid high temperatures.