Greenhouse Management: What is it about portulaca that makes it such a popular crop?
Mike Fernandez: Portulaca is drought-tolerant, it features flowers with very bright and vibrant colors and it’s easy to care for, which makes it a popular choice for consumers.
GM: What is it about the Pazzaz Series that growers will appreciate the most?
MF: All the Pazzaz selections do well in hanging baskets, containers or to sell as a groundcover. All the selections in the Pazzaz series feature flowers that stay open more reliably compared to other portulacas on the market. And all the Pazzaz selections are a strong option for heat- and drought-tolerant programs. They’ve also performed well in trials across the country.
GM: What’s the difference between Pazzaz, Pazzaz Nano and Mega Pazzaz?
MF: Pazzaz is the original series and it’s a little more trailing. Its mature size is 12 inches high by 14 inches wide. Nano is more compact, with flowers all over the plant and a controlled habit that doesn’t need PGRs. It’s early to flower, with big flowers that stay open longer. It’s great in small pots, but will also do well in larger containers. Mega has the extra-large flowers, yet it still offers a controlled, moderate trailing habit. Its mature size is 16 inches high by 24 inches wide.
GM: Please explain the breeding breakthroughs for this crop during the last few years.
MF: Breeding breakthroughs include the floriferousness and improved flowering over the entire plant. Other breeding breakthroughs are how the flowers stay open more reliably, as well as new bicolor flowers that we call “Twist.”
GM: Which selections are the newest in the series?
MF: Mega Pazzaz is the latest series which does include two bicolors, Pink Twist and Mango Twist.
GM: How well does this series perform in combinations?
MF: They do well in combinations. For best results, stick all plants in the center of the pot so they mix well together in the combo.
GM: For growers looking to add this to their sales offerings, what are some production tips you’d like to share?
MF: Production is pretty straightforward. As with all portulaca, unpack and stick immediately. Low mist is needed. Feed at 100-150 ppm N as needed. Danziger provides technical growing sheets for all of our crops at www.danzigeronline.com.